When the Rams drafted Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick back in April, the team was hoping that Goff would eventually move up the depth chart and earn the starting spot. Instead, Goff has somehow moved down the depth chart, and is about to join a list that no No. 1 pick wants to join.
If Goff’s not the starting quarterback when the Rams open the regular season on Sept. 12, and he won’t be, then Goff will become the first quarterback taken No. 1 overall since JaMarcus Russell to not start in his team’s opening game.
Since 2008, every quarterback who’s been taken with the No. 1 overall pick has started in his team’s season opener. That list includes the likes of Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Jameis Winston.
Goff isn’t going to join that list though; he’s going to join the Russell list. Anytime you’re mentioned in the same breath as a draft bust, that’s not a good thing.
After being taken No. 1 overall in 2007, Russell didn’t start his first game of the season until Week 17.
Part of the reason that the Raiders kept Russell on the bench is because he held out of training camp and didn’t report to the team until Sept. 12. The other part of the reason they kept him on the bench is because, like Goff, he struggled in practice, and Raiders coach Lane Kiffin wasn’t sure if he was ready to play.
Now, there’s no reason for Rams fans to panic yet with Goff, but they should probably be slightly concerned after hearing what coach Jeff Fisher had to say on Thursday. After the Rams’ 27-25 loss to the Vikings, Fisher said that the No. 1 pick isn’t even good enough to be his backup quarterback right now.
“You know, I think it’s going to take a little bit more time,” Fisher said. “That’s not to say he can’t be a two or start, but if were starting right now, I’d probably have Sean (Mannion) as the two. Because it’s all about being patient with him. He’s not frustrated or anything. He took some hits. He got hit pretty hard last week, and Sunday was a tough day for him, which you guys didn’t see. But he did everything he needed to.”
Goff is almost certainly the only No. 1 pick in recent history to fall down the depth chart. Of course, if Goff doesn’t end up playing at all in 2016, that doesn’t mean he’s destined to be a failure. Former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer didn’t play a single snap in 2003, the year the Bengals made him the No. 1 overall pick, and things have worked out alright for him.
If Goff’s career ends up somewhere between Russell’s and Palmer’s, he should be alright, as long as it’s a lot closer to Palmer’s.
Source: CBS Sports / Jared Goff is about to have something in common with draft bust JaMarcus Russell