As a redshirt freshman, Russell started four games, and threw for 1,053 yards, while completing just over 50% of his passes, with nine touchdowns, and four picks. As a sophomore, he took over the reigns, and had a very good season, throwing for 2,443 yards, while improving his completion percentage to 60.5, and throwing for 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Russell continued to grow this past season as a junior, and had an outstanding season. He threw for 3,129 yards, with an amazing 67.8% completion percentage, and 28 touchdowns to just eight interceptions.
JaMarcus Russell has an unreal combination of skills. First off, he is absolutely massive, and legitimately could play on an NFL defensive line with his size. He is an excellent athlete for his size as well. Russell also has an absolute cannon of an arm, and will be one of the elite in the league as soon as he’s drafted. On the field, he has grown each season, and there’s no reason to see him stopping now. As a passer, he is accurate and efficient, and there is no throw he cannot make. Russell is a pocket passer, but has the athleticism and mobility to elude the rush or run for yardage when the opportunity presents itself. Despite all his physical talent, his biggest asset may be his ability to get his team to rally around him. He has proven to be a quality leader, and can make plays in big games.
Russell has gotten better each year, but he still needs to show a little more patience and discipline throwing the football. At times he’ll still get reckless thinking his arm strength can get him out of jams.
JaMarcus Russell has really come on as a junior. Everyone acknowledged his immense talent, but thought he would need all four years to continue to develop as a passer. He made major strides from his sophomore to junior year, and is now a legitimate candidate to be the #1 overall pick. He might need a little more seasoning than a player like Brady Quinn, but his upside is amazing. With Al Davis leading the Raiders, Russell may be the odds on favorite to be the #1 pick in April. Calvin Johnson appears to be the only player with a shot to go first overall aside from Russell.