Raiders top-10 draft busts since 1970


A list of the top 10 Raiders’ first-round busts since the start of the merged draft in 1970:

1_JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU, 2007 (No. 1 overall)

The new standard-bearer for his position, league-wide. Al Davis loves tradition, but this isn’t the kind of history he had in mind.

Who else was available: WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech (Detroit), No. 2; RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma (Minnesota), No. 7; LB Patrick Willis, Mississippi (San Francisco), No. 11.

2_Todd Marinovich, QB, USC, 1991 (No. 24 overall)

Probably unfair to rate a No. 24 pick this high, but take a look at who went No. 33. Marinovich was beset by drug issues which plagued him long after he was out of the league.

Who else was available: DT Ted Washington, Louisville (Buffalo) No. 25; QB Brett Favre, Southern Mississippi (Atlanta), No. 33.

3_Bob Buczkowski, DE, Pitt, 1986 (No. 24 overall)

Played in a grand total of two games and had one sack for the Raiders in 1987. Was arrested for running a prostitution ring in 2005.

Who else was available: RB Neal Anderson, Florida (Chicago), No. 27; LB Pepper Johnson, Ohio State (New York Giants), No. 51.

4_John Clay, OT, Missouri, 1987 (No. 15 overall)

Started nine games as a rookie, and the Raiders shipped him to San Diego along with two high draft choices for Jim Lachey. Clay played one year and was out of the league. The Raiders eventually sent Lachey, a dominant left tackle, to Washington for Jay Schroeder in one of their worst all-time trades.

Who else was available: OT Harris Barton, North Carolina, (49ers), No. 22; QB Jim Harbaugh, Michigan (Chicago), No. 26.

5_Patrick Bates, safety, Texas A&M, 1993, (No. 12 overall)

The 1993 version of Taylor Mays, Bates looked the part, but walked away from the Raiders the week before their season opener for reasons never fully explained.

Who else was available: RB Robert Smith, Ohio State (Minnesota), No. 21; DT Dana Stubblefield, Kansas (49ers), No. 26.

6_Matt Stinchcomb, tackle, Georgia, 1999 (No. 18 overall)

Considered a `safe’ pick for a team needing a tackle, Stinchcomb arrived with a serious shoulder injury. He was unsuccessfully tried as a starter at tackle, center and guard.

Who else was available: CB Antoine Winfield, Ohio State (Minnesota), No. 23; DE Patrick Kerney, Virginia (Atlanta), No. 29

7_Marc Wilson, quarterback, BYU, 1980 (No. 15 overall)

Measure his 31-19 won-loss record against Raiders QBs of the last seven years and he’s a wild success. In the era of great Raiders teams, he was reviled.

Who else was available: WR Art Monk, Syracuse (Washington), No. 18; RB Joe Cribbs, Auburn, Buffalo (No. 29)

No. 8_Derrick Gibson, safety, Florida State (No. 28 overall)

Another look-the-part safety, who, like Bates, didn’t have the instinct or coverage ability to excel. Coach Jon Gruden wanted and scouts wanted Todd Heap.

Who else was available: WR Reggie Wayne, Miami (Indianapolis), No. 30; TE Todd Heap, Arizona State (Baltimore), No. 31; QB Drew Brees, Purdue (San Diego), No. 32; DE Kyle VandenBosch, Nebraska (Arizona), No. 34.

No. 9_Phillip Buchanon, cornerback, Miami (No. 17 overall)

Provided big plays and touchdowns as a cornerback and return man, but gave up even more, then mysteriously lost his punt return ability. Was eventually traded to Houston.

Who else was available: S Ed Reed, Miami (Baltimore), No. 22; DE Charles Grant, Georgia (New Orleans) No. 25.

No. 10_To be determined . . . but with Russell gone, the pressure is on running back Darren McFadden (No. 4 overall in 2008) and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (No. 7 in 2009) to perform.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer


    Some thoughts on JaMoron being released:

    As I have oft stated, the subtraction of Russell is the greatest addition the Raids could have made this off-season. So it is a move that should be gleefully welcomed by every Raider fan.

    It was somewhat of a surprise to me that JaMoron was permitted to attend mini-camp last week.

    I’ve stated on this blog, and am convinced that JaMoron was a goner ever since he was finally pulled last year and the Raids made it very clear he wouldn’t start again for the rest of the season. JaMoron wasn’t only benched – he was told that he was now 3rd string and wasn’t going to see the field again barring injury. It was apparent the Raids would rather go with Frye or even Losman than to have JaMoron take another snap.

    Clearly this was at Cable’s behest, but you can bet the move came with Al’s approval – and in retrospect, JaMoron was as good as gone from that moment on.

    The only possibility that Russell would remain a Raider was if Davis held out any hope that JaMoron had a chance of developing and Al was simply protecting JaMoron from becoming ‘shell-shocked’.

    Thankfully, Mr Davis could see what was painfully obvious to all (except for a few myopic fans like Priest and Debo) – JaMoron would never succeed in the NFL. Russell has got the physical tools, but not the mental ones – and he’s way too innaccurate.

    There remained the possibilty that the Raids would allow JaMoron to compete throughout camp, talk up his game, and hope to get something/anything in return for him from any team dumb enough to trade for him.

    There was also the possibility Davis feared JaMoron coming back to haunt the Raids in an opponent’s uniform.

    The fact that Davis released JaMoron this early tells us that he knew Russell held absolutely no trade value, and that Davis had completely given up on him.

    Hindight is always 20-20, but it is clear now that Russell’s pathetic play last season all but assured he would no longer be a Raider.

    Even if he had shown up in fabulous shape and been willing to re-negotiate his contract – it probably wouldn’t have been enough.

    Cable and Davis had seen enough and had enough of JaMoron’s utter futility on the field to know that Russell could not and would not ever be the face of the franchise.

    It’s a shame the Raids didn’t luck out and get a franchise QB with the number one overall pick. This was a tremendous setback to the organization. But such is life. Davis has made many serious errors the last several years. Ultimately, he’s responsible for the sorry state of the Raiders. But he’s shown a willingness to admit his errors and move on. With some wise decisions Davis might yet realize the goal of some more Lombardi trophies for his Oakland Raiders.

    I hope he succeeds.

  • 30 year raider

    # fat kidd Says:
    May 6th, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    hey has jawalrus left town yet,i will buy his bus ticket if he needs one.so he can go back home and buy his shrimpin boat!

    thats the fatt boy i know!!!

  • 30 year raider

    ok i think howard will stay… he will be a third down backer or pos 2nd and long type guy…
    hiram eugene and stanford poutt are GONE!!!!!!!!!! MARK MY WORDS

  • 30 year raider

    COOPER CARLISLE WILL be after eugene and poutt

  • SwordOfVeracity

    Hate to pick nits here, but the first combined draft was 1967. The Raiders went and got somebody slightly above legendary when they drafted Gene Upshaw. However, if you want to look at potential busts, the following year, before Kenny Stabler was drafted in the second round, the Raiders drafted another quarterback with a very distinguished college career in Eldridge Dickey…

    …and turned him into a wide receiver.

    It would be interesting to find out what former Raider bossman John Rauch thought of Dickey, but neither man is alive to tell his side of the story, now. I would definitely consider this a misfire. However, the price difference between a first and a fourth round draft pick in 1968 was hardly enough to even sweat the “bust” label. Not much invested, not much more returned… but to see Dickey and Stabler push each other with Daryle Lamonica and George Blanda already on the roster would have been a hell of a treat.