Top 5 Worst Draft Picks- Oakland Raiders
These guys were brought in to help the team win, but couldn't accomplish anything on the field. Today I rank the top five worst draft picks by the Oakland Raiders.
5. Marc Wilson
He won two Super Bowls... as a backup.
At BYU, Marc Wilson became one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in school history. In BYU's air raid offense, he was able to put up big numbers in an era when offenses were built around running the ball. This style of play paved the way for other great Cougar quarterbacks like Jim McMahon, Steve Young, and Ty Detmer.
Wilson was selected 15th overall in 1980. He spent much of his time flip flopping the starting job with Jim Plunkett He spent his first year as Jim Plunkett's backup then took over as the starter in 1981 when Plunkett struggled. He then was Plunkett's backup again in 1982. He backed him up again in 1983, but took over the starting job midway through the season, only injury his shoulder and have Plunkett take the position back and again lead the Raiders to another Super Bowl victory. Wilson switched with Plunkett again in 1984, but in 1985 he led the Raiders to the AFC West title. He eventually was replaced by Plunkett again in 1986. Wilson spent one more year in Oakland before being released in 1988. Talk about a headache.
4. Todd Marinovich
He was a polished product whose personal issues caused him to flame out in the pros.
At USC, Todd Marinovich was a peculiar quarterback. He was born-to-be-a-QB, bred by his father, not allowed to eat red meat among other foods. During his college years his play varied from prolific to erratic. In his sophomore season, he got suspended for a game by head coach Larry Smith and later Marinovich was seen yelling at Smith on the sideline on live TV during the Sun Bowl which followed a cocaine bust. After this, he jumped ship to the NFL draft.
Marinovich was selected 24th overall in 1991. His play in Oakland was chaotic, and he started eight games in two years before being benched midway through 1992. He never threw a pass in the NFL again after being waived in 1993. Substance abuse issues have dogged him throughout his life since. The closest he has come back to football is a stint in the Arena Football League.
3. Robert Gallery
"The Mountain" was seen as the ideal left tackle, but failed to make a splash in the NFL.
At Iowa, Robert Gallery started his career at tight end before being moved to offensive tackle. In his final three years as a Hawkeye, he started every game and won the Outland award as a senior as the nations top lineman.
Gallery was drafted second overall in 2004. In his first four years, he played three different positions. In 2006, he allowed 10.5 sacks while playing left tackle. While he had much more success at guard, he will always be considered a bust due to the high number of sacks he gave up each season.
2. Darrius Heyward-Bey
He was the typical Oakland, speedy receiver, but didn't have the hands to match it.
In three years at Maryland, Darrius Heyward-Bey earned a reputation as one of the fastest college players in the country. He finished his college career with 193 catches for over 1,900 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Heyward-Bey was drafted seventh overall in 2009. As a rookie he only caught nine passes and struggled with drops. Over the next three years, he steadily improved but was never going to be a true number one receiver in an offense. He was released after the 2012 season and has spent time in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.
1. JaMarcus Russell
He was supposed to make Oakland a powerhouse again, but instead sank them further into mediocrity.
At LSU, JaMarcus Russell became the starter in 2005. In his two years as a starter, he finished with a 21–4 record. In 2006, he threw for 3,129 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions and was second in the SEC with 2,923 yards from scrimmage. In the Sugar Bowl, he accumulated over 350 yards of passing and rushing combined and scored three touchdowns while being named the games MVP in a victory over Notre Dame. He decided to forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Russell was the first overall pick in 2007 by Oakland. He held out through training camp and into the first week of the season, until he signed a six-year contract worth up to $68 million, with $31.5 million guaranteed. In his first start, he finished the game against Jacksonville with seven completions on 23 pass attempts for 83 yards, with one touchdown pass, three interceptions and a lost fumble. Russell finished his rookie season with 36 completed passes on 66 attempts for 373 yards scoring two touchdowns and four interceptions. Over the next few years, his play continued to decline. Between offseasons, it was reported that he had weighed up to 300 lbs. between seasons. In 2009, Russell's 48.8 completion percentage was the lowest in over a decade by a quarterback. His final stats during his tenure as a Raider were 52.1% pass completion, an 18 to 23 touchdown to interception ratio, a passer rating of 65.2, and 15 lost fumbles.