The 1983 NFL Draft saw five future Hall of Famers selected in the first round: John Elway, Jim Kelly, Bruce Matthews, Darrell Green, and Dan Marino.
Those three quarterbacks are some of the best to ever play the game. That’s why Kansas City’s first round pick that year hurt even worse.
Todd Blackledge was a top prospect at the quarterback position. He won the Davey O’Brien award as the nation’s top quarterback in 1982 while leading the Penn State Nittany Lions to their first national championship under Joe Paterno.
If you look at his college career though as a whole, Blackledge really doesn’t wow anyone with numbers. He finished with an even amount of touchdowns and interceptions at 41. His career completion percentage was just about 52 percent. Maybe you could’ve seen the professional downfall coming.
Kansas City took Blackledge with the seventh pick overall pick in 1983. That means the team took him ahead of Kelly and Marino. Woof.
To give you an idea of what the Chiefs missed out on, Blackledge threw 29 career touchdowns over seven seasons. Marino threw 20 touchdowns in his rookie season, and Kelly threw 22 in his.
While none of these three ended up with a Super Bowl ring, Kelly and Marino are all-time greats at the position. Having either one of them over Blackledge might have gotten the Chiefs into the playoffs more than one year from 1983-1987, the years Blackledge was in Kansas City.
So Blackledge takes the cake on this one for not producing and making the Chiefs Kingdom wonder what could’ve been.
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