Given their propensity to trade future draft picks in the early 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys developed a quantitative tool to help them make better decisions. Commonly referred to as Jimmy Johnson’s Trade Value Chart, the methodology actually came into existence because of team executive Mike McCoy. Specifically, McCoy developed a numerical value for each draft position such that proposed trades could be evaluated quickly and objectively. Still in use today, that chart reflects how teams seemingly value future draft picks. Similarly, I created the Top10Busts Football Index (TFI) as a mechanism to value future picks based on expected production. McCoy tried to show what teams do. In contrast, I’m trying to show what teams should do.
JaMarcus Russell is considered by some to be the #1 Bust in NFL history. While there’s certainly enough support for that claim, I can’t elevate him to that position because no other quarterback drafted in 2007 was even half-way decent. I have argued numerous times that a bust should be determined based on the player’s own poor performance. As such, Russell was a bust given his 7-18 record as a starter and career totals of 4,000 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. At the same time, all-time busts are ranked based on their performance relative to other players available in the same draft. Given the failures of every other quarterback in the 2007 Draft, Russell’s failure is less dramatic. Regardless, it probably doesn’t matter to him because he earned over $30 million in guaranteed money from his rookie contract. Even without the ancillary storyline, Russell still is an all-time bust. In fact, he was so bad that he’s the #3 NFL Draft Bust.