NEW YORK - JaMarcus Russell barely had to wait before taking the stage as an Oakland Raider yesterday in the NFL draft. Brady Quinn turned out to be the forgotten quarterback, lingering long after Russell was picked, until Cleveland took him 22d.
Russell was the top choice, by the offense-deficient Raiders. The 6-foot-6 junior quarterback who can throw the ball 80 yards fits the mold for Al Davis, who loves the deep ball.
LSU players had plenty of draft-day luster. Five spots after Russell, Tigers safety LaRon Landry went to Washington, and two more Tigers were chosen later in the opening round.
Notre Dame's Quinn sat and watched 21 players get called before he went to the Browns, the team he grew up rooting for in Dublin, Ohio. Once considered the best prospect in this year's crop, he was still available when the Browns traded with Dallas to get back into the first round.
Russell had no such anxious moments.
When Roger Goodell, conducting his first draft as commissioner, announced Russell's name, Raiders fans in the crowd cheered loudly.
"I kind of had faith in it. Everybody had been talking about it for a while," Russell said of being chosen first. "It's a dream come true."
While he works for a team that went 2-14 last season and scored only 168 points, Landry heads to the Redskins to team with Sean Taylor in what could be a dynamic set of safeties.
LSU wide receiver Dwayne Bowe went 23d to Kansas City, and wideout Craig Davis was chosen 30th by San Diego.
When Miami selected Ohio State wide receiver-kick returner Ted Ginn Jr., at No. 9, Dolphins fans at Radio City Music Hall let out a gasp and booed. A huge portion of the crowd began chanting, "Brady, Brady."
The Browns could have taken Quinn at No. 3 but took Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas instead.
Thomas spent the morning fishing back home rather than attend the draft.
After Russell's selection, Detroit declined several trade options for the No. 2 overall pick and chose wide receiver Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech, considered the best athlete available. It was the fourth time in five years the Lions chose a wideout high in the draft. Only one of the others, Roy Williams, has succeeded in Detroit. Johnson, an all-American junior known as "Spider-man," is 6-4 and 237 pounds and can run the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds.
Tampa Bay picked the first defensive player, Clemson end Gaines Adams, who at 6-5 is an inch shorter and three pounds lighter than Russell.
Arizona also went for offensive line help at No. 5, taking Penn State tackle Levi Brown, who should replace Leonard Davis, now with Dallas after leaving as a free agent.
Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma was chosen by Minnesota, which apparently was unconcerned by the running back's history of injuries in college.
At No. 8, Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson went to Atlanta, which went to the Super Bowl in 1999 with a running back named Jamal Anderson.