Pick Six: Raiders’ all-time draft busts

Former Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell against the San Diego Chargers during the 2009 season. (Denis Poroy/Associted Press)

The Raiders have parted ways with guard Robert Gallery, who was regarded as one of the bigger draft disappointments in Raiders history. But was he the biggest?

Well, I think we all know he’s not going to be No. 1. But here is a look at the top six draft busts in Raiders history.

Hey, the Jets shouldn’t get all of the attention.

Also considered, TE Rickey Dudley (ninth overall, 1996) who was picked over LB Ray Lewis.

6. QB Marc Wilson, 15th overall, 1980
One of the lesser known of LaVell Edwards‘ products to go from BYU to the NFL, but Wilson never achieved the success of Jim McMahon (who seemed born to wear the silver and black) or Steve Young. The Raiders traded Ken Stabler for Dan Pastorini and drafted Wilson to be the quarterback of the future. But it was Jim Plunkett who would lead the Raiders to two Super Bowl titles.

Could have had: LB Otis Wilson would have been a perfect Raider, right?

5. Gallery, second overall, 2004
Gallery was going to get a pass here because he did play seven seasons for the Raiders and was serviceable during that time after switching from tackle. But again, taking a serviceable player with the second overall pick does not get it done. Especially when you look at the players who were drafted around him.

Could have had: In order, Larry Fitzgerald, Philip Rivers, Sean Taylor, Ben Roethlisberger … to name a few. Think of this: 14 players taken after Gallery in the first round of the 2004 draft made the Pro Bowl. Rivers is especially painful because, until this season, he had been living it up by owning the Raiders.

4. OT John Clay, 15th overall, 1987
The Raiders had a bad stretch in the mid-1980s, starting with the first-round selections of WR Jessie Hester (1985), DE Bob Buczkowksi (1986) and Clay (the Raiders rebounded with Tim Brown in 1988). Clay, though, was the exclamation point. He played in just 10 games in his only season with the Raiders and lasted two years in the NFL.

Could have had: The Raiders whiffed on a tackle and missed out on Harris Barton and Bruce Matthews. Wow, imagine if the Raiders had gone Bernie Kosar (1985), Ernest Givins (1986) and Matthews over those three years. That’s a nice team.

3. S Patrick Bates, 12th overall, 1993
Bates started in only nine games during his three years with the Raiders. And he didn’t go on to bigger things when he was traded to the Falcons, finishing his career with one interception.

Could have had: DE Michael Strahan went in the second round in 1993, but a more realistic approach would have had the Raiders taking Darrien Gordon, or even better, George Teague, who seemed like he would have been an outstanding Raider.

2. QB Todd Marinovich, 24th overall 1991
The Raiders probably were suffering from too much nostalgia when they gave the left-handed Marinovich the No. 12 jersey. But Marinovich, who was groomed to play football from the womb, never really seemed to fit into being a professional football player and instead focused on other interests. He lasted only two years with the Raiders.

Could have had: If the Raiders really wanted a quarterback, they could have grabbed the guy who went nine picks later, Brett Favre.

1. QB JaMarcus Russell, first overall 2007

Could have had: Let’s limit this to the guys in the first 15 picks — Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, and Darrelle Revis.

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