(Sorry in advance for the long post, but I hope it’s worth it).
With all the smoke and dust about Oakland’s QB drama for this season, trying to acquire one via draft doesn’t seem like a bad plan right? Well, Matt Flynn (?) or Kevin Kolb (???) seems to be the frontrunners for getting the job and competing with Terrelle Pryor, but in cas Oakland would go to the draft and try to get their future passer there, I want to take a little time to remember how the Raiders have done when they draft a QB, and it is a long story of suffering and despair. Actually, from all the QBs Oakland has ever drafted, there might be just 2 guys who could (maybe) avoid the term “tragedy”. Now, if you want to see the first QB drafted by the Oakland Raiders that actually played a single snap for the Oakland Raiders, please jump to Kenny Stabler.
Dick Norman (1961): It was the 5th round of the 1961 AFL Draft when the Raiders picked Norman… he played in just 3 games (for the Chicago bears) and didn’t record a single stat. That same year, on rounds 9, 21 and 28, Oakland drafted Lowndes Shingler, Mike Jones and Dave Grosz. None of them played in a single game ever.
Roman Gabriel (1962): The 1st overall pick on the 1962 AFL Draft. This man had a very good career. He threw 2366 completions for 29444 yards and 201 Touchdowns compared to only 149 interceptions. During his 183 games, he also scored 30 rushing Touchdowns. Pretty good, right? The only problem is he did that for the other team that drafted, the Los Angeles Rams. Back then, no respectable prospect would have signed with an AFL team, so basically, the Raiders showed a very good eye but little judgment drafting Gabriel. Te team also drafted Dennis Spurlock on the 19th round… he never played in a football game.
Dennis Claridge (1963): This 26th round prospect never played for the Silver and Black. He however played in 1 game with the Green Bay Packers in 1965, where he completed the one pass he threw. He played 7 more games for the Atlanta Falcons next season. It’s funny to say he wasn’t the top QB drafted by the Raiders that year, Jon Anabo was drafted at round 23rd, but he never saw the field.
Larry Rakestraw (1964): Like Norman before, he never played for the Raiders but for the Chicago Bears. He got 589 yards, 4 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Also drafted by the Raiders that year were Ron Calagno and Gordon Guest who never saw action.
Rick Egloff (1967): Drafted in the 6th round, never played a single game (it was such a common story back then).
Ken Stabler (1968): Drafted in the 2nd round. He is one of the two players who maybe escape the awful fate of the rest. He is a tough cookie to judge… on one hand, he led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl victory, he was NFL’s MVP back in 1974, he had 19 fourth quarter comebacks and he had an awesome 69-26-1 win/lose record with the Raiders. On the other hand, he threw 222 interceptions for only 194 touchdowns, he had only two 3000+ yards seasons (only one with the Raiders), he had only one season with a rating over 100 and his interception percentage is a scary 5.9% (Do you really want to know how big it is? Carson Palmer’s is only 3.2%). For some people he is the best QB who ever played for the Raiders, for some people the Raiders back then were such a great team than they even won a Super Bowl despite having Stabler as their QB. I will say that for me, he is one of the greatest players who ever wore the Silver and Black, even when many stats don’t support him.
Mike Rae (1973): He was drafted at the 8th round that year. He played in 3 games for the Raiders in ’76 and ’77. He won those 3 games and then he went to Tampa Bay, where he played 5 more games, winning just 1. He retired in 1979.
David Humm (1975): Drafted on the 5th round. He was a backup all of his career. He played for the Raiders for 5 years, where he threw for 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He started only one game, it was playing for the Baltimore Colts 8he lost that game). That same draft, the Raiders acquired Tom Foyle, who never played a game, at the 14th round.
Jeb Blount (1976): He was a 2nd round bust in the 1976 draft. He never played for the Raiders. He played 1 season for the Tampa bay Bucs where he started and lost 4 games. He retired after that season.
Marc Wilson (1980): This one was another bust who never lived up to his 1st round pick status. He was thought to be the Raiders franchise QB, and he had many chances to be that guy. After being Plunkett’s backup until 1983, he got the starter spot, but he was outplayed by plunkett year after year. Back in 1987, he led the Raiders to their first losing season since 1981.
Scott Lindquist (1983): He was drafted with Oakland’s 12th draft pick, he never played.
Randy Essington (1984): Just like the last one was drafted with the 12th round pick, and just like him, Essington never played.
Steve Buerlein (1987): Drafted with the team’s 4th round pick. He is the second possible exception to the maelstrom of failure we are reviewing. He was a backup most of his career and he played for the Raiders only 2 seasons, but he has the best numbers of all and he had a couple of great seasons as a starter for the Carolina panthers. He got 24046 yards, 147 Touchdowns, 112 interceptions and a 80.3 career rating. Not too bad for a 4th round selection. He also had a pretty lousy w/l record of 47-55 and a lame 3.4% of interceptions. So, irrelevant as he was, he was far from bad.
Jeff Francis (1989): He was Oakland’s first pick that year… but the team first pick that year came until the 6th round. He played only once, it was for the Browns and he completed the only 2 passes he ever threw.
Major Harris (1990): 12th Round pick, didn’t play a single game.
Todd Marinovich (1991): I still have nightmares about this guy, my childhood was scarred by him. He was the team’s 1st round pick that year. He never started a game, he threw 8 TD and 9 interceptions. He retired in 1992. He had been our top draft bust until some JaMarcus Russell appeared.
Billy Joe Hobbert (1993): He was a 3rd round pick. He never started a game despite playing in 29. Left the Raiders 1n 1997 for the Bills. He retired with 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions.
Marques Tuiasosopo (2001): He was drafted in the 2nd round with the 59th overall pick. He was supposed to become Rich Ganon’s heir. He played for the Raiders since 2001 to 2008 when he retired. He started just 2 games (he lost both). He threw 49 completions for 554 yards, 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. The word we are all thinking about is BUST!
Andrew Walter (2005): When I saw this guy playing for the first time on a preseason game I had hope for him… how naïve I was! He was drafted in the 3rd round, played 15 games, started 1, he got 174 completions for 1919 yards, 3 touchdowns and 16 interceptions!!!!!
JaMarcus Russell (2007): The only person who could have ever taken the title of biggest bust ever from Ryan Leaf. His 3-year stint with the Raiders was bad enough to be remembered, but he had 4083 yards, 18 Touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He isn’t the worst QB we ever drafted (at least his numbers aren’t), but the huge hype he was surrounded by made you think we were getting the next Joe Montana. He was a lazy slob who would blame anything, even apnea for having no work ethics. It’s hard to believe the Raiders passed on Calvin Johnson and Darrelle Revis for this thug, but the team really needed a QB and just like this year, the Raider’s had the terrible luck of having the 1st overall pick on a year where best two prospects were Russel and Brady Quinn. Actually, when you see all QBs drafted that year, Trent Edwards (who has also played for Oakland as a backup) and Kevin Kolb (who has been mentioned as a plan B for Matt Flynn) are the only two who have better numbers than Russell.
Terrelle Pryor (2010): This one could still go either way. He has been loved, hated, praised, criticized and he has just started 1 game. It wouldn’t be fair to judge him while he is the only one on this list that’s still active, so we will have to wait and see what he’s capable of.
This is the page where I got most of the stats:
Thanks for reading.