Baltimore Ravens: Jimmy Clausen (2015)
Jimmy Clausen’s pro football career was over even before it started, after daintily flashing his High School rings at the over-the-top Press Conference he had when he first arrived at Notre Dame.
The second-round pick of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers bounced around four teams in five games, ending his career with the Baltimore Ravens, when he threw four interceptions in two December starts. The Ravens were outscored 69-20 in the two games Clausen started.
Buffalo Bills: Nathan Peterman (2017-2018)
Perhaps the biggest punchline for poor quarterbacking jokes we’ve had over the past decade. Not even lasting two seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Peterman started four games (and appeared in four more), throwing a staggering 12 interceptions in those games, finishing with a 32.5 passer rating.
How bad is that? Consider that if Peterman had actually thrown an incomplete pass on every attempt, he would’ve actually had a better passer rating than that.
Cincinnati Bengals: Jeff Driskel (2018)
Jeff Driskel gets the nod here for the Cincinnati Bengals, but mostly on default. The Bengals went from Carson Palmer straight to Andy Dalton, and when the latter missed a few games in 2015, AJ McCarron filled in capably.
But when Dalton went down with a season-ending injury in 2018, the Bengals finished with a 1-3 record with Driskel under center.
Cleveland Browns: Derek Anderson (2009)
As the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, Derek Anderson looked like Cinderalla’s stagecoach in 2007, and then a decomposing pumpkin the following two seasons.
Two years after becoming the first Cleveland quarterback to be named to the Pro Bowl in almost three decades, Anderson started only seven games for the Browns, throwing only three touchdowns, but 10 interceptions as well.
He finished with a 44.5% completion rate, which was the worst of his career at the time.
Denver Broncos: Paxton Lynch (2016-2017)
The fact that Paxton Lynch was drafted in 2016 and out of the NFL in 2018 tells you everything you need to know about him.
His overall stats don’t look terrible, but the fact that the Denver Broncos were so reluctant to start Lynch after drafting him with a first round pick in 2016 tells you everything you need to know about their confidence in playing him.
The rumors were always that he’d rather go home and play video games than spend even one extra second at the Broncos facility and doing his job.
Houston Texans: Brock Osweiler (2016)
You know you’re bad when your team actually gives away assets with the hope of getting rid of you. The Houston Texans suffered the mother of all cases of “buyer’s remorse” after quickly signing Brock Osweiler as a free agent in 2016.
Osweiler’s 8-6 record doesn’t nearly tell you the story of how bad he was there, nor does his 15-to-16 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 14 starts.
Houston actually gave the Cleveland Browns a 2nd round pick just to rid themselves of Osweiler’s deal after just one year.
Indianapolis Colts: Curtis Painter (2011)
The 2011 season was an unmitigated disaster for the Indianapolis Colts, as the team finished with an NFL-worst 2-14 record. Backup quarterback Curtis Painter, who went 0-8 in eight games as the starter, didn’t help matters.
Painter appeared to be fine as the backup to Peyton Manning, but when he actually had to play for an extended period of time, things got ugly. He averaged less than 200 yards passing in his eight starts, throwing nine interceptions.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert (2011-2013)
The quarterback who really inspired terror in scouts and personnel guys in the league, about selecting guys who played in spread offenses. Gabbert’s stats weren’t terrible, but it was painfully clear that his destiny wasn’t to be even an above-average quarterback in the NFL.
Not only did the Jacksonville Jaguars move on from him just three seasons after drafting him, but they’ll forever be scarred by the fact that they took him one spot of where the Houston Texans selected J.J. Watt in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Kansas City Chiefs: Brady Quinn (2012)
You’d think things couldn’t get much worse for Brady Quinn, after his precipitous fall on draft day, and a miserable stint with the Cleveland Browns.
But, they did. After Cleveland moved on from him after only three seasons, Quinn joined the Kansas City Chiefs, where he went 1-7 in eight starts, throwing only touchdowns in eight games, and averaging less than 150 yards passing per game.
Not surprisingly, that was Quinn’s fourth and final season as an NFL quarterback.
Miami Dolphins: Chad Henne (2009-2011)
in his first season as the proverbial football Czar of the Miami Dolphins, Bill Parcells thought he outsmarted the rest of the rest of the NFL, when he passed on taking quarterback Matt Ryan with the first pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, taking left tackle Jake Long with the first overall pick, and then getting his quarterback in the second round.
Chad Henne: a four-year starter the University of Michigan who never threw more than 25 touchdown passes in a season and never led the team to a win in a premier bowl game, but was given the esoteric label of “being a winner.” Soon after, everyone realized the truth: calling Henne a “caretaker” quarterback as even a major embellishment of his abilities.
New England Patriots: Jacoby Brissett (2016)
Since the pathologically competitive Tom Brady missed only four starts over the past decade (and that was only because of the suspension he received due to “Deflategate” in 2016), we weren’t left with a lot to choose from.
So, Jacoby Brissett gets this dubious distinction. The rookie third-round pick played rather well (all things considered) in his first of two starts, but he and the New England Patriots’ offense had a miserable outing in their 16-0 shutout loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4.
New York Jets: Bryce Petty (2015-2017)
Bryce Petty was one of those guys who looked the part and his teammates like them, but he was never meant to be an NFL quarterback.
He looked good throwing the ball, but that came as a result of generating a lot of empty calories while playing in Baylor’s offense.
The New York Jets selected Petty in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and he started in seven games during his three seasons in Gotham, going 1-6 with four touchdowns and 10 interceptions in total.
Oakland Raiders: Jamarcus Russell (2007-2009)
Can there be anyone else but the non-studying, Sizzurp-drinking, belly-expanding quarterback with the golden arm and the aluminum foil work ethic?
If you carved a Mount Rushmore of the biggest busts in NFL Draft history, Jamarcus Russell is unquestionably on the short list of people who’d be carved into it.
In 25 games as the starter for the Oakland Raiders, he won only seven of them, completing less than 49% of his passes in 2009, his third (and final) season in the NFL.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Charlie Batch (2010-2012)
This one is something of a lifetime achievement award of doing a miserable job of backing up Ben Roethlisberger.
Charlie Batch’s 3-2 record as a starter between 2010 and 2012 overshadows the four touchdowns and six interceptions he threw in those games, and throwing for less than 200 yards in four of those five games.
LA/San Diego Chargers: Charlie Whitehurst (2006, 2012-2013)
Charlie Whitehurst was known more for the styles of hair on his face, and the long-flowing hair on his head, as opposed to anything he ever did on the field.
The fact that he’s known as “Touchdown Jesus” has nothing to do with him scoring touchdowns. But Whitehurst becomes the lone caveat on our list, as the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers have had Philip Rivers start every game since the 2009 seasons.
So, let’s just all marvel at the beautiful uselessness presented by Whitehurst.
Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker (2011-2014)
Nobody denied the fact that Jake Locker was one hell of an athlete coming out of the University of Washington. The question of whether he would be a good quarterback was always on the table, considering he completed less than 54% of his passes in college.
Despite that, the Tennessee Titans selected him with the 8th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. But Locker’s inaccuracy and injuries followed him to the NFL.
In 23 starts, Locker won only nine games, and retired after the 2014 NFL season after saying his heart was no longer in the game.