Blackledge was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played for five seasons (1983–1987) before ending his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1988–1989). Blackledge underperformed in his NFL career compared to high expectations of him, a fact magnified by the impressive quarterbacks also appearing in the 1983 NFL Draft, including John Elway, Dan Marino, and Jim Kelly (aside from Elway (#1 pick), all picked after Eason). Critics of Blackledge attributed his failure at the professional level to his inability to "read" NFL defenses. Blackledge is widely regarded as the Chiefs' biggest draft bust along with Trezelle Jenkins. It was the failure of Blackledge that expedited the demotion of Chiefs President Jack Steadman, to be replaced by Carl Peterson.
From 1994–1998, he worked as a college football analyst for ABC Sports. In 1999, Blackledge joined CBS Sports as the lead analyst for the network's college football coverage. In 2006, he began serving on the first team alongside Mike Patrick for ESPN College Football Primetime on ESPN. As part of his duties he is featured on "Todd's Taste of the Town", a segment where he visits a locally notable restaurant and samples its fare. Blackledge has facetiously stated this is the most difficult part of his broadcasting experience.
Blackledge lives in North Canton with his wife, Cherie, and their four children.
Blackledge earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication from Penn State in 1983, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a 3.8 grade point average. Named a first team Academic All-American, he was also awarded the Eric Walker Award, given to the Penn State senior student who has most “enhanced the esteem and recognition of the University.” Blackledge was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1997. He sits on the Board of Visitors for Penn State’s Center for Sports Journalism.
Blackledge was selected to receive the prestigious 2008 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, recognizing former student-athletes who excelled both in their collegiate and professional careers. On June 5, 2009, Blackledge received Penn State's prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award.
In April 2008, Blackledge and seven other former NFL players traveled to the Middle East to visit with troops and coach them in the USO's Operation Gridiron: Huddle with the Troops, a flag football tournament for service personnel serving overseas.
Currently, he is coaching freshman basketball at North Canton Hoover High School and the North Canton Little League 10 year old Williamsport team.