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PFW forecast Russell’s demise

Today marks a year since the Raiders released quarterback JaMarcus Russell, marking the end of an error after three years and $39 million.

Perhaps they would have avoided the mistake entirely with the kind of research done by Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki, whose assessment of Russell in his 2007 draft guide was eerily acccurate. Nawrocki is the same guy who eviscerated Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, criticizing his “fake smile,” calling him disingenuous and having an “enormous ego and sense of entitlement.”

We’ll know in three years whether Nawrocki, who admitted he never spoke to Newton, was off base.

But if he is even as close to being on the mark as he was with Russell, the Panthers have reason to be worried.

Here was Nawrocki’s assessment in the 2007 Pro Football Weekly draft report:

Positives: Has all the physical ability in the world and is one of the most naturally gifted throwers ever to play the game. Has rare size and arm strength and can really power the ball down the field. Effortless thrower who flicks the ball with ease. Has a 100 m.p.h. fastball and can zing it into tight coverage. Is tough to bring down and not easily sacked. Stands tall in the pocket, can brush off the pass rush and deliver after taking a hit. Shows some agility on the move once he gets going.

Negatives: Showed up overweight at the Combine and has a flabby body that looks like it has not seen a weight room. Relies too much on his arm and natural ability and does not like to work. Has a lackadaisical approach to the game, nearly lost his job in a competition prior to his junior season and needs to take the game more seriously. Struggled to put points on the board vs. the speed of Auburn’s and Florida’s defenses, and when he is forced to make quick reads, he struggles. Does not find second and third receivers as fast as he has too. Does not have a consistent throwing motion, and the ball tends to come out at different places every time. Does not protect the football well. Does not show great timing or anticipation. Telegraphs his passes and rarely looks off the high safety (see Florida game). Will require very tough coaching from a strong, authoritative figure, or he will get away with everything he can and may never develop. Acts as if he has made it already and does not realize how far he has to go.

Summary: Has as much potential as any quarterback to enter the draft, but the team that drafts him better have an experienced and patient veteran coaching staff in place to provide the tough coaching he will need to develop. For as much upside as he has — and it’s off the charts — his downside is just as great, and he could be out of the league just as fast as he is in the Pro Bowl. A very high-risk, high-reward pick, Russell is the type of player who could lose his motivation after a big payday. Whoever drafts him better make sure they properly evaluate his mental makeup and character, or they could set back their franchise at least three years. Strikingly similar to Vikings 1999 11th overall draft pick and current Dolphins QB Daunte Culpepper, whose only success has come under the demanding Scott Linehan, but Russell is not as athletic nor does he have Culpepper’s scrambling ability.

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. PARK DEDICATION

More than, 1000 children, community residents and celebrities are scheduled to be in attendance Saturdya at the dedication of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

The park was funded through grants with support of the Raiders and will have fields for football and soccer as well as a track, picnic areas and new landscaping. It will include synthetic sports turf.

The opening is scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at 360 Harbour Way South, Richmond. Raiders legend Jim Otto is scheduled to attend as well as addtional team employees.

SHOW YOUR RAIDERS SCHOOL SPIRIT

A visit from Raiders coach Hue Jackson is the prize as schools grades kindergarten through high school compete in a “Show Your Raiders School Spirit” contest as sponsored by the club.

Schools, classes or other educational groups may enter online at raiders.com. Information can also be found at raidersforkids.com.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • YoungAmerican

    Unless you’re standing at the scale with him, what are you supposed to do?

    ———–

    Moreover, if Mario added 15-20+ pounds of pure muscle, wouldn’t he want it reflected on the Raiders website, NFL.com, HIS OWN WEBSITE, etc.?

    So assuming that he’s just too heavy, what do you want? Do you want to re-sign a guy who isn’t in shape? Or do you want him to lose that alleged weight and get back down to his listed weight (which is the same weight as Samson Satele, except Henderson is about five inches taller)?

    Don’t get how Henderson being heavier that 300 is supposed to be an argument in his favor, especially when his play has been terribly inconsistent no matter what his weight allegedly is.

  • severeraiderz

    YoungAmerican Says:
    May 9th, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    You either are not watching the games, have a grudge against Mario, or you are lying. He moves very well in space and was a solid run blocker. In some instaces he is a solid pass blocker, having his most trouble with speed rushers and 3-4 OLB. He would be a very good back up, and if given a chance to compete, could earn a spot at either RT or guard

    ————–

    I have watched every game. There’s a reason Henderson only resurfaced in the starting lineup after Walker got injured. The Raiders’ running game was undeniably better with Veldheer at LT instead of Mario.

    Average back-up. Sub-par starter. I don’t see a 6′7, 300 pound kid who is a poor run blocker being a fit at OG in scheme that will focus on power blocking.

    Regardless, he doesn’t seem interested in coming back and is a questionable system fit.

    //////////////////////////////////

    Mario isnt a system fit (false), but Veldheer is??? Veldheer is 6’8″ 315 and gets out leveraged by smaller guys consistently. He also struggles against speed rushers, doesn’t consistently get to the second level, and is too often found blocking grass. In just 11 starts he managed to give up 10 sacks!!! He is a rookie so his problems are correctable, but are glaring.

  • severeraiderz

    YoungAmerican Says:
    May 9th, 2011 at 1:04 pm
    Unless you’re standing at the scale with him, what are you supposed to do?

    ———–

    Moreover, if Mario added 15-20+ pounds of pure muscle, wouldn’t he want it reflected on the Raiders website, NFL.com, HIS OWN WEBSITE, etc.?

    So assuming that he’s just too heavy, what do you want? Do you want to re-sign a guy who isn’t in shape? Or do you want him to lose that alleged weight and get back down to his listed weight (which is the same weight as Samson Satele, except Henderson is about five inches taller)?

    Don’t get how Henderson being heavier that 300 is supposed to be an argument in his favor, especially when his play has been terribly inconsistent no matter what his weight allegedly is.
    //////////////////////////

    Players list players at lower weights and taller heights consistently. Tommy Kelly admitted that he played heavier than at his listed weight. Andre Smith is listed at only 340. Teams manipulate these numbers just how they manipulate the results of physicals

  • YoungAmerican

    Mario isnt a system fit (false), but Veldheer is??? Veldheer is 6′8″ 315 and gets out leveraged by smaller guys consistently. He also struggles against speed rushers, doesn’t consistently get to the second level, and is too often found blocking grass. In just 11 starts he managed to give up 10 sacks!!! He is a rookie so his problems are correctable, but are glaring.

    ————

    Well, the rookie outweighs Henderson by 15 pounds. And he’s just a rookie, coming out of a Div II school, who seemed to get better over the course of every game he played in. Yes, he struggled at times, there’s no doubt about that. But Veldheer earned another crack at the LT job by outperforming Henderson in spite of being thrown into the fire as an inexperienced small-school project player.

    Regardless, this isn’t about Veldheer. Veldheer is under contract, and presumably has the starting LT job locked up for now.

    This is about RE-SIGNING a player who hasn’t shown the ability to be a consistent, starting-caliber player after four seasons in the league.

  • severeraiderz

    couldnt find a link to what i said about tomy kelly so just disregard that part

  • severeraiderz

    Well, the rookie outweighs Henderson by 15 pounds. And he’s just a rookie, coming out of a Div II school, who seemed to get better over the course of every game he played in. Yes, he struggled at times, there’s no doubt about that. But Veldheer earned another crack at the LT job by outperforming Henderson in spite of being thrown into the fire as an inexperienced small-school project player.

    Regardless, this isn’t about Veldheer. Veldheer is under contract, and presumably has the starting LT job locked up for now.

    This is about RE-SIGNING a player who hasn’t shown the ability to be a consistent, starting-caliber player after four seasons in the league.
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////

    He outweighs him by 15lbs but is more than an inch taller so the difference is negligible. Mario’s problem was never in the run game it was in pass protection. he gave up 9.5 sacks in 15 starts in 2009, which everyone thought was terrible. Veldheer gave up a 1/2 sack more in 4 less starts last season. Bringing him back if for nothing more than to be an experienced back up would be wise. We will have enough new starters on our OL i think a veteran presence who has some experience in the scheme that will be running would be wise. Blocking concepts wont be exactly the same but a lot of what Hue the OC did will be done under Hue the HC.

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