When the conversation of top-10 biggest draft busts comes to mind, it's hard not think of JaMarcus Russell as a recent example.
The former LSU quarterback (21-4) went No. 1 overall to the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft. Russell held out for a six-year, $68 million contract, which needless to say, he did not fulfill. After going 7-18 as a starter, the Raiders released him in 2010.
Only two months later, Russell was arrested in Alabama for possession of codeine syrup without a prescription. Things began to fall apart for the former Raiders quarterback fairly quickly.
Entering the 2013 season, there has been recognition of Russell's attempt at an NFL comeback. The former first overall pick has been training with Jeff Garcia and the TEST Football Academy in San Diego, California. At the beginning of this thing, he was a long ways away, weighing near 300 pounds.
JaMarcus Russell's 5.2 40 time puts him about in line with what Bobby Massie ran at the combine last year.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) February 20, 2013
He has been put through a rigorous training circuit and vows to be ready for the pro day.
"Now I'm heavier than normal, so now is just getting a perspective where we're at. Once the pro day comes, I'll be in some great shape and my numbers will excel," said Russell about his comeback.
It will be awfully difficult for NFL teams to overlook his past and all of the red flags. But this is a league that has seen second, third and even fourth chances. In a year where there are virtually no No.1 quarterback prospects, Russell may get a look.