The Top 10 Worst Quarterbacks Currently in the NFL
For every Peyton Manning, there are five Ryan Leafs. We don't have to get into history or statistics to find out if that's literally correct, but it's fairly well accepted.
That's just the way it is. Drafting a quarterback with the first overall pick does not mean he's a lock to rescue your franchise.
See: Tim Couch
See: JaMarcus Russell
Even drafting a quarterback a round later when his stock slips a bit doesn't always mean he'll be what you expected. In fact, sometimes a quality quarterback can drop all the way to the sixth round, and he can end up being better than the majority of the guys selected in the first few rounds in his draft—and even for several drafts to come.
See: Tom Brady
This is all going somewhere, I promise. While we all spend our time and breath on the golden boys of the NFL, we rarely care to extend our attention to the backups and third stringers that somehow make it into the league—and more importantly, somehow stick around for what seems like forever and get paid good money, despite not having anywhere near the level of talent as the guys directly ahead of them.
Sometimes that means they're just average, and other times that means they defy the odds and all logic by somehow keeping a job in such a seemingly competitive field.
The following list, in no particular order, credits the 10 worst current NFL quarterbacks that are on an NFL roster—and God help us all, absolutely should not be.
In the name of T.J. Rubley, read on.
Brian Brohm (Buffalo Bills)
Brohm has been an absolute disappointment.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Brohm was once a highly touted prospect out of Louisville, but after falling from a supposed lock in the top 10 in the 2008 NFL Draft to the second round, he simply hasn't been the same.
He never really stood a chance as the seemingly top backup to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but he couldn't even hold that job down. He was shaky, erratic and visibly lacked confidence from day one causing him to lose his job to Matt Flynn very quickly, a guy who was drafted five rounds after Brohm.
Brohm was later picked up by the Buffalo Bills, where he played two games at the end of the 2009 season, throwing for 146 yards, no touchdowns,and two picks—which sounded just about right, considering what we had seen out of him previously.
Brohm was so well put together that he was out-played by both Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick and never threatened for Buffalo's starting job. We'd later discover Fitzpatrick is actually a pretty darn good quarterback, but after all that time, we're still pretty sure Brohm is not.
Kellen Clemens (New York Jets)
Clemens might as well take his paycheck while he can get one.
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Clemens is so terrible, Eric Mangini preferred an aging Brett Favre with a torn up right arm to Clemens as the New York Jets faded down the stretch with a 1-4 record in 2008.
To add to his impressive resume, Clemens owns five career passing touchdowns to 11 career interceptions, took a pay cut just to make the team as the third string quarterback and sits behind a guy who no one should be playing behind at this stage in his career, Mark Brunell.
When Jets fans rip Mark Sanchez for his inconsistent and sometimes erratic play, it's partially because it reminds them of what they saw in Clemens. He simply is not a competent passer and should never be starting an NFL game.
Mark Brunell (New York Jets)
Brunell can still help in the NFL, but not as a player.
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Oddly enough, the guy above our previous bomb, Clemens, isn't capable of running an NFL offense, either. Of course, Brunell actually prefaced his currently woeful playing state with a pretty respectable career, but at 40 he no longer has the legs that once made him a dynamic player.
He also doesn't have the arm he once had, or the accuracy or the awareness.
Brunell is living proof that not everyone can "Brett Favre it up" and play into their 40s at a high level. I'm pretty sure we already knew that, but if you didn't, go watch some tape on Brunell's spot-play for the Jets last year.
Stats don't even do it justice. Brunell is strictly in the league right now to be a mentor for Mark Sanchez. If he ever had to go into an important game, you could chalk it up as a loss for the Jets.
Jake Delhomme (Cleveland Browns)
Delhomme has fallen far from grace.
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
I can almost hear the readers of this article muttering the words, "Change the record."
Delhomme was actually once a pretty solid quarterback but has been in serious decline for three seasons now, as he never fully recovered from a serious arm injury that he sustained during the 2007 season.
While it's not really about him not being a good player—and more about deteriorating arm strength—Delhomme's decision-making also hasn't helped his current NFL persona.
Delhomme hasn't done anything to erase doubts that his critics have had in 2010, either, as he has thrown just two touchdowns to seven interceptions in five games with the Cleveland Browns.
The guy has thrown 25 touchdowns to 37 picks over the past three seasons, and if you somehow forgot, he threw five picks in an NFC Championship game loss to the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. Enough said.
Curtis Painter (Indianapolis Colts)
Colts fans better hope Painter never plays a meaningful game.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Curtis Painter might be the worst quarterback in the NFL right now. While there's no way to truly rate how bad quarterbacks are—as even the NFL's quarterback rating doesn't always do poor (or great) performances justice—you'd still have to at least rank this kid in the bottom five, no matter the competition.
Not only has he been absolutely horrid in spot-duty (eight-for-28 for no touchdowns and two picks), but he's displayed no feel for the game, is inaccurate, doesn't have elite arm strength and never looks comfortable in the pocket.
You could at times work hard to try to understand why the Colts held onto an average backup like Jim Sorgi for so long, but when they drop even lower to a guy like Painter as the safety blanket if Peyton Manning goes down, well, you just have to wonder.
Trent Edwards (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Edwards should go into hiding.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
I always thought there was something good in Trent Edwards. But, like people who think they know what they're talking about often are, I was wrong.
Edwards is always regarded as some extremely cerebral and accurate passer, but his history and stats just don't match up with those labels.
Edwards flashed brilliance in his first two seasons, but in addition to never being the most durable or consistent quarterback, Edwards also simply bored you to death.
This is a guy that didn't know how to put Lee Evans and Terrell Owens to use and that struggled to even move the ball in his final days with Buffalo.
He has always had the makings of a special quarterback, but he's not a special quarterback. Edwards probably blew his last chance to prove he has what it takes to make it in the NFL when he completed just 14-of-24 passes for no scores and two picks in a blow-out loss to the Tennessee Titans earlier this season.
Rusty Smith (Tennessee Titans)
If the Gods are good to us, Smith will never play again.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
There isn't much to go off when it comes to Smith's resume, but what's there doesn't bode well for the remainder of his career. In fact, Smith is a perfect example of what this list of bad quarterbacks is all about.
Smith was absolutely atrocious in his one and only start for the Titans, throwing for 138 yards, no scores and three interceptions against a weak Houston Texans defense.
The coaching staff probably didn't do him any favors in his first start, but those kind of numbers against a very beatable defense suggest an untouchable level of ineptness.
Still, Smith is the exact type of player that somehow hangs around the league for a long career, blowing the minds of writers and fans alike.
Boy, do I feel bad for any fantasy owners that took a chance on him in fantasy football simply because he had that tasty matchup with the Texans.
Say it with me now: Rus-ty Smith! Rus-ty Smith!
Brady Quinn (Denver Broncos)
Quinn likely won't ever live up to the hype.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
For a while, I was a firm believer that Brady Quinn had tons of talent and that with the right situation he could be a good NFL quarterback. More importantly, if he could just get out of Cleveland, his career would stand a chance.
Then he went to Denver, looked erratic in the preseason and lost his backup job to Tim Tebow.
Since then, my views on Quinn have come full circle, and I've seen him for what he is. He's inaccurate, uncomfortable in the pocket and too inconsistent to ever be a full-time starter in the NFL.
When Cleveland doesn't want you and you can't beat out Tim Tebow, the writing is on the wall.
Brodie Croyle (Kansas City Chiefs)
Croyle is living proof a big arm doesn't always win games.
Harry How/Getty Images
Croyle literally got drafted into the NFL because he had a cannon arm. Since being drafted, he's done nothing to lead anyone to believe he'll ever be a full-time starter, and while he's shown flashes here or there, the bad has far outweighed any of the good.
He's been mediocre at best, and downright awful when he's at his worst. Croyle likely sealed his fate as a career backup with an abysmal seven-for-17 performance in Week 14 that saw him throw for just 40 yards.
On top of his mediocrity and most recent poor effort, he's now lost 10 straight games as a starter.
Derek Anderson (Arizona Cardinals)
It's not funny, and neither is his performance.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
It's not funny. It's not funny. He takes this (bleep) seriously.
Sure he does. That's why he hasn't ever completed more than 57 percent of his passes in a season in his career. That's also probably why he has thrown 19 total touchdowns in his past 30 NFL games after throwing 29 in 16 games in 2007.
Can there be a better example of a fluke season?
Derek Anderson was a fantasy football beast just four years ago, and now he's easily one of the biggest jokes at quarterback in the entire league.
I honestly don't know whether to make fun of his voice, beard, completion percentage, interceptions, immobility or inability to win games. All are fair game, as DA is easily one of the worst quarterbacks currently in the NFL.
Still, he's been given the chance to start several games by two different franchises, despite both teams knowing full well the atrocious play he brings to the table. But, as we know, the NFL doesn't learn, and Anderson will surely be starting a game in the near future.
The Dishonorable Mentions
Clausen hasn't done anything to make us think good of him.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
As you've seen, the previous 10 quarterbacks are (subjectively, of course) the worst quarterbacks to currently be playing in the NFL. Entire career stats and performance was considered for all players, although their current state and statistics weighed heavily in the ultimate placement on this list.
Some players were left off this list simply because I felt they had something to prove, hadn't been given ample opportunity or may have been average talent, but weren't necessarily terrible players.
Here's a list of guys that narrowly missed out on this list, and depending on their next start (which you know has to come sooner or later), they could easily make this list the next time around. Keep your fingers crossed.
Kyle Boller (Oakland Raiders)
Matt Leinart (Houston Texans)
Rex Grossman (Washington Redskins)
Tarvaris Jackson (Minnesota Vikings)
Keith Null (St. Louis Rams)
Jimmy Clausen (Carolina Panthers)
David Carr (San Francisco 49ers)
Charlie Whitehurst (Seattle Seahawks)