TT is an online writer with over six years of experience writing about sports and pop culture.
In this article, I recap the careers of the top five quarterbacks of the 2010 NFL Draft and what they are doing today.
1. Sam Bradford
College Career: After redshirting as a freshman, Sam Bradford won the starting job in 2007. That year he broke the NCAA freshman record with 36 touchdown passes. As a redshirt sophomore, he won the Heisman Trophy and helped Oklahoma to a BCS Championship Game appearance. The following year he played in just three games after sustaining a shoulder injury. He amassed 8,403 passing yards and 88 touchdowns in his Oklahoma career.
Drafted: 1st overall by the St. Louis Rams
Pro Career: The opening day starter as a rookie for the Rams, Bradford became the third rookie quarterback to start all 16 regular season games and broke Peyton Manning's record for completions and attempts by a rookie while winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. In 2015 he was traded to Philadelphia for a fifth round pick. The following year, he was traded to Minnesota for a first round pick after Teddy Bridgewater tore his ACL in practice. That year, he set an NFL record by completing 71.6 percent of his passes. He spent one final season in Arizona before retiring after 2018.
Bottom Line: The future looked bright for Sam Bradford after a strong rookie year, but injuries continued to derail his career. He missed six games in year two with an ankle injury and tore his left ACL three times over the course of his career. His teams never won more than eight games in a season and his stats were average at best for much of his career. The year he set the completion percentage record, he wasn't asked to take over games and that's why Minnesota finished ninth in the NFC. We'll never know how good he could have been because of the injuries and rollercoaster play.
Where Is He Now?:
2. Tim Tebow
College Career: As a freshman for the Gators, Tim Tebow played behind Chris Leak but still saw considerable playing time as a goal line runner. The following year he was named the starting quarterback and finished with 3,286 passing yards, 895 rushing yards and 55 total touchdowns while becoming the first sophomore in history to win the Heisman Trophy. In 2008, he broke Emmitt Smith's school record for rushing touchdowns and helped the Gators to their second National Championship victory in three years. In his four years at Florida, Tebow held five NCAA, 14 SEC, and 28 school records.
Drafted: 25th overall by the Denver Broncos
Pro Career: Tebow spent much of his rookie year as Kyle Orton's backup and was used in the team's wildcat formations. He started the final three games of 2010 and finished with 654 passing yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions while also rushing for 227 yards and six touchdowns. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for a touchdown in each of his first three career starts. After the Broncos started 1-3 in 2011, Tebow replaced Orton midway though Week 5. He won seven of his 10 starts as the Broncos managed to win the AFC West. In the wildcard round, he threw for a career high 316 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime, as the Bronco upset Pittsburgh 29-23. The following year he was traded to the New York Jets where he was used in wildcat formations and on special teams. He spent two preseasons with New England and Philadelphia before leaving he league in 2015.
Bottom Line: Tim Tebow had some incredible comeback wins for Denver and "Tebow Mania" took over the league for half of 2011, but he didn't have all the intangibles to play quarterback fulltime in the NFL. He was a phenomenal athlete, tough as nails, and had the highest of character traits but his poor throwing mechanics and 47.9 career completion percentage are too much to ignore. He could have had a long career as a tight end or power fullback, but his determination to play quarterback ultimately is what has kept him out of the league.
Where Is He Now?: After spending time as a broadcaster and in Minor League Baseball, Tebow decided to make one last attempt to make the NFL as a tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars who are now coached by his former Florida head coach Urban Meyer.
3. Jimmy Clausen
College: Notre Dame
College Career: As a true freshman, Jimmy Clausen scored nine total touchdowns but was sacked a school record 34 times. The following year, he led the Fighting Irish to a 7-6 record and helped end Notre Dame's NCAA record nine game bowl losing streak. As a junior, finished the season with 3,722 yards passing, a 68.8% completion rate, 161.42 passer rating, 28 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He decided to forgo his senior season after it was announced head coach Charlie Weis was fired.
Drafted: 48th overall by the Carolina Panthers
Pro Career: Clausen started 10 games as a rookie and completed just 52.2 percent of he passes while throwing for 1,558 yards with 3 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He was sacked 33 times and fumbled 9 times as the Panthers finished 2-14. Carolina drafted Cam Newton with the first overall pick in 2011 and Clausen didn't play for the next three seasons. In 2014, he signed with Chicago to be Jay Cutler's backup. He spent one final year with Baltimore before retiring in 2016.
Bottom Line: Clausen was initially viewed as one of the best quarterback prospects in he 2010 class but thanks to his cocky attitude and smugness, he alienated teammates, coaches, and fans. As a rookie, he immediately got on star wide receiver Steve Smith's bad side with his punk behavior. That reputation followed him for the rest of his career and he was never able to shake it.
Where Is He Now?: Clausen currently resides in Thousand Oaks, California. He’s spent time with NBC Sports, covering the Fighting Irish’s football games. He also did high school broadcast work. He covered a football game coached by his brothers, Casey and Rick, in September 2017.
4. Colt McCoy
College Career: A four year starter for the Longhorns, Daniel "Colt" McCoy won or shared the team's MVP all four years, the only player in school history to do so. He holds every major Texas passing record with a 70.3 completion percentage, 13,253 career passing yards, and 132 total touchdowns. As a senior, he won every major passing award and became the winnings quarterback in college football history.
Drafted: 85th overall by the Cleveland Browns
Pro Career: McCoy was initially supposed to be the third string quarterback in order to develop his skills, but became the starter in Week 6 of his rookie year after Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace were injured. He helped the Browns to two consecutive upsets over defending Super Bowl champions New Orleans and New England. The following year he started 13 games but the Browns finished 4-12. He spent the next nine seasons primarily as a backup.
Bottom Line: Colt McCoy had the potential to be a pretty good NFL quarterback. Unfortunately he was drafted by a team with a bad reputation of failing to develop quarterbacks. He played alongside below average talent across the board on offense and coaching changes every season. If he had been drafted into a well established "West Coast Offense" scheme, he could have been a starter for many years and could have had solid success.
Where Is He Now?: McCoy signed with the Arizona Cardinals for the 2021 season and will likely serve as Kyler Murray's backup
5. Mike Kafka
College Career: Despite being the backup quarterback in 2008 for Northwestern, Mike Kafka finished second on the team in rushing yards. He was named the starter as a senior and led the Big Ten in passing yards with 3,430 yards, total offense with 286.8 yards per game, completions with 24.5 per game, and fewest interceptions. His 3,430 passing yards are third-most in school history. His 3,729 total offensive yards are second-most in school history.
Drafted: 122nd overall by the Philadelphia Eagles
Pro Career: Kafka spent his rookie season playing behind Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick. The following year he saw mop up playing time with 35 passing yards and two interceptions. He spent the next three seasons on six different teams practice squads before retiring after 2015.
Bottom Line: Kafka was viewed as a developmental quarterback coming into the pros as he threw a lot of interceptions in college. He was seen a smart player who took in the offense well, but just didn't have all the skills to be a starting quarterback.
Where Is He Now?: Kafka transitioned to coaching after his playing ended. In 2017, he was hired as the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive quality control coach reuniting him with head coach Andy Reid. The following year he was promoted to quarterbacks coach while helping Patrick Mahomes to an MVP season and a Super Bowl victory the next season. In 2020 he was given the additional title of the passing game coordinator.
Other Notable Quarterbacks
John Skelton, Fordham: Drafted 155th overall by Arizona Cardinals
- Started 17 games, nothing more than a transition quarterback
Jonathan Crompton, Tennessee: Drafted 168th overall by San Diego Chargers
- Career camp arm, later played in CFL
Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic: Drafted 176th overall by Tennessee Titans
- 0 career touchdowns next to four career interceptions
Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan: Drafted 181st overall by Chicago Bears
- Never stuck in the NFL, career CFL backup
Joe Webb, UAB: Drafted 199th overall by Minnesota Vikings
- Played quarterback and wide receiver in the pros
Tony Pike, Cincinnati: Drafted 204th overall by Carolina Panthers
- Lacked confidence to last in the league
Levi Brown, Troy: Drafted 209th overall by Buffalo Bills
- Backup and CFL quarterback for four years
Sean Canfield, Oregon State: Drafted 239th overall by New Orleans Saints
- Career practice squad quarterback
Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State: Drafted 250th overall by New England Patriots
- Injured practice squad for four years for four teams
Max Hall, BYU: Undrafted
- Started three games with one touchdown to six interceptions.
Thad Lewis, Duke: Undrafted
- Lasted eight seasons with some success in relief duty