The success or failure of a football team is oftentimes dependent on its ability to find a franchise quarterback. Acquire one, and a poor team can become a contender quickly. Failure to land one, however, can lead to prolonged doom and gloom.
In the past decade, teams have looked for quarterbacks at the top of the draft. Twenty-seven QBs have been taken in the first round since 2001, with varied results. During that same time span, 12 quarterbacks were selected in the second round, with mostly disappointing results. Teams often reached for prospects with mid-round grades because they were so in need of a signalcaller.
Here are the QBs taken in the second round since 2001, in chronological order:
Jimmy Clausen / 2010 — The Panthers made Clausen their first pick in last year's draft, and while we can only judge on early returns, he was far from impressive in his first season. In 10 starts (1-9 record), Clausen completed 52.5 percent of his passes, tossing three touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He also had nine fumbles. There are lots of doubts regarding Clausen's future as a franchise QB in Carolina.
Pat White / 2009 — The Dolphins took White as a QB/wideout one season after introducing the "Wildcat" to the NFL and making the playoffs. White didn't succeed in either role. He had 81 yards rushing in '09 in 13 games and threw five incomplete passes. White was cut before the '10 season and decided to take a swing at baseball, but he didn't report to the Royals' spring training camp and retired in March.
Brian Brohm / 2008 — Brohm has started two games in three seasons, throwing five interceptions and zero touchdowns. A product of a high-octane system at Louisville, Brohm is a career backup and third-stringer in the NFL.
Chad Henne / 2008 — Henne had the confidence of the Dolphins' coaching staff heading into 2010, and now his job for '11 is in jeopardy. Henne was very inconsistent, often struggling in the red zone and in the fourth quarter. He threw 19 picks and might have reached his peak in the league.
Kevin Kolb / 2007 — Kolb saw Eagles QB Donovan McNabb traded away so he could take the reins in 2010. Instead, a concussion in Week One paved the way for Michael Vick to have an MVP-like season, cementing himself as the team's long-term starter. Kolb didn't play poorly in his opportunities, so the jury is still out on him. He could get a fresh start outside of Philly via trade.
John Beck / 2007 — The third Dolphins second-round QB on the list, Beck started four games for a 1-15 team in 2007, throwing one TD and three picks. He has not played in a game since and currently sits at the bottom of the Redskins' depth chart.
Drew Stanton / 2007 — The Michigan native was picked by his home-state Lions but was never really given a chance to see the field. He has started four games in four seasons and is currently the backup to former No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford.
Kellen Clemens / 2006 — Pre-draft hype from TV analysts shot Clemens up the draft board, but the Jets have found out why PFW had him rated as a marginal NFL player. He has five career TD passes vs. 11 INTs and is New York's third-string QB.
Tarvaris Jackson / 2006 — Unlike many on the list, Jackson has seen the field often, even taking the Vikings to the playoffs in '08. However, Brett Favre sent Jackson back to the bench the next year, and Jackson has started only one game since '09.
Drew Brees / 2001 — A rare second-round success story, Brees is one of the NFL's top quarterbacks and a former Super Bowl MVP. He has thrown for 3,000-plus yards in every season of his career that he has been a full-time starter — first with the Chargers and now with the Saints.
Quincy Carter / 2001 — With 31 starts and a playoff appearance in his first three seasons, Carter seemed to be on his way to a solid pro career. But repeated drug problems and disagreements with coaches led to his exit from the NFL in 2005.
Marques Tuiasosopo / 2001 — The former Washington Husky threw 90 career passes as a backup QB in eight pro seasons, seven with Oakland. He's currently the assistant strength coach at UCLA.