Other voices on the draft, April 28

April 27, 2013 

AS THE 2007 NFL Draft approached, JaMarcus Russell was essentially guaranteed superstardom by many of the same experts we will listen to as our planet’s most overhyped sporting event invades our living rooms.

“Nobody has an arm like JaMarcus Russell,” shouted ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. “The skill level he has is certainly John Elway-like.”

Elway should sue Kiper for slander.

Lane Kiffin, then the Raiders coach, dived deeper into the ridiculous.

“He’s like a video game,” Kiffin wrote. “There’s not a throw he can’t make, and there’s some he can make that I’m not sure anyone else can make. That’s exciting.”

No, that’s blindness.

Russell, as you probably remember, led the Raiders to seven victories in 25 starts. He is the biggest draft bust in NFL history — surpassing Ryan Leaf.

Looking back at the wildly, comically over-the-top praise of Russell leads me to this question:

Why do we pay such obsessive attention to the NFL Draft? Please understand, I’m not placing this question in life’s grand scheme alongside such genuine concerns as hunger, violence and interstate traffic jams.

David Ramsey

The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette

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