Raiders' Davis has no regrets in passing on Calvin Johnson

Posted Jan. 25, 2011 @ 10:23 a.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Most people would look at the 2007 draft and say the Raiders made a mistake selecting QB JaMarcus Russell with the top pick and that the Lions did well in taking WR Calvin Johnson at No. 2. Not Al Davis, however.

The Oakland owner told reporters last week that while taking Russell — who did not play in the league in 2010 — was a mistake, there weren't any better options for the Silver and Black.

"The thing that hurt, is the question someone asked, JaMarcus hurt a great deal," Davis said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "But the ones they wanted to take instead of JaMarcus, Brady Quinn, hasn't played yet. There was some talk of Calvin Johnson. But you can take a look at Calvin up at Detroit. How many games did they win this year, Detroit, do you know? Six? Yeah. But up until now, Calvin hadn't done anything for them. He had been eulogized, but he hadn't made a lot of indelible impression on the won and lost. Listen, someone asked the question, it's there. The JaMarcus thing hurt."

The way we see it

While it's true that the Lions have a combined record of 15-49 in Johnson's four seasons, most observers do not believe that the team's record reflects the quality of the wide receiver's play. Johnson is gaining more than 15 yards per reception in his career and has proven to be one of the league's elite big-play targets.

There is a part of Davis' rant that is correct — taking Brady Quinn instead of Russell wouldn't have been much of an upgrade for the Raiders. But he is kidding himself and his fans if he truly thinks that "Calvin hasn't done anything." Oakland would be a much better team if Johnson were on the Raiders' roster instead of playing for the Lions.