Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown Continues Today with Nos. 30-25 and Culminates with the Top Four on Monday, June 12; In-Depth Breakdowns for Each Ranking Weekly on Chris Simms Unbuttoned Podcast
Kenny Pickett (No. 25), Brock Purdy (No. 26), Sam Darnold (No. 27) Andy Dalton (No. 28), Tyler Huntley (No. 29), and Davis Mills (No. 30)
“There’s a reason they made him the starter because they have a coaching staff and a bunch of players who believe in him as a leader.”– Simms on Purdy at No. 26
“He’s at No. 27 but he has the potential to be someone greater than this. This 49ers offense is made for him.”– Simms on Darnold at No. 27
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 23, 2023 – 2022 first round pick Kenny Pickett of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy, who last season became one of five rookie quarterbacks to ever start in a conference championship game, highlight the latest installment of Chris Simms’ countdown of the top 40 quarterbacks in the NFL, available now on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and on “PFT Live.”
Simms’ quarterbacks ranked 25-40:
|Sophomore Supremes||33.||Taylor Heinicke, Atlanta|
|25.||Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh||34.||Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis|
|26.||Brock Purdy, San Francisco||35.||Mike White, Miami|
|27.||Sam Darnold, San Francisco||36.||Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis|
|28.||Andy Dalton, Carolina||37.||CJ Stroud, Houston|
|29.||Tyler Huntley, Baltimore||38.||Bryce Young, Carolina|
|30.||Davis Mills, Houston||Show Me More, Sophomores|
|What is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)||39.||Sam Howell, Washington|
|31.||Jordan Love, Green Bay||40.||Desmond Ridder, Atlanta|
|32.||Jarrett Stidham, Denver|
Over the course of the next month, Simms will unveil a group of quarterbacks on each Chris Simms Unbuttoned episode and discuss his rankings on “PFT Live” with Mike Florio, culminating Monday, June 12 with his top four quarterbacks.
Simms, a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2003 NFL Draft who played eight NFL seasons, will also offer in-depth player breakdowns and rankings explanations throughout each week on Chris Simms Unbuttoned.
Simms has had recent success in projecting quarterbacks – including those coming out of college by naming Patrick Mahomes as his most exciting prospect in 2017, listing Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen as his top-two QBs in 2018, and having Justin Herbert as his No. 2 QB in 2020.
The rankings will continue Wednesday, May 24, with numbers 24-20 on the next episode of Chris Simms Unbuttoned.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Chris Simms Unbuttoned:
No. 30: Davis Mills, Houston Texans
“C.J. Stroud’s talent and ability is much better than Davis Mills’. There’s a reason he’s a backup. He’s smart, he’s a good surveyor of the field…When he came out of Stanford, he was NFL-ready. He understood how to run a pro-style offense. He moves better than you think, but as an overall athlete, he’s less than average for the NFL in 2023. There’s a lot that he does that’s good but there’s nothing great. Not a real aggressive decision-maker. He wasn’t the problem – it’s a (Texans) offense that lacked playmakers – but he’s not the answer, either.”
No. 29: Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens
“Tyler Huntley is damn good. I think he’s a fringe starting quarterback. He’s got a sneaky explosive arm. I wish he had less of a robotic motion, but the ball pops off his hands in power-type throws. We know his athletic ability is the real deal. He’s a pretty good decision-maker, too. He was a hair aggressive in trying to sneak a ball into a tight window this year, but (the Ravens) didn’t even take advantage of his running. He’s a runner who doesn’t look to run first, he wants to throw. I’m a believer. If you flip their situations, I think Tyler Huntley could have done better than what Davis Mills did for the Houston Texans. He can make game-changing throws with his arms, he can run the system, and he can play backyard football. That’s where he separates himself.”
No. 28: Andy Dalton, Carolina Panthers
“Andy Dalton had a resurgence last year. To me, he was a different football player last year. He changed his motion. It led to a quicker release, and he rarely missed a target. He was aggressive and that’s where he really jumped up in my eyes. For an older guy, he still moves well. He’s still tough; he’s not afraid to tuck it and run for five or six yards. (Bryce Young’s) arm is not better than Andy Dalton’s. He’s not as big as Andy Dalton…I don’t expect Bryce Young to necessarily be the starter Week 1. This could be one where it takes a little bit to close the gap more than the Davis Mills/C.J. Stroud one.”
No. 27: Sam Darnold, San Francisco 49ers
“Sam Darnold is one of the tougher rankings in this whole thing. He has some physical abilities that are legit. Unbelievable feet in the pocket. One of the quicker releases in all of football. His arm is strong, he can push 50-yard posts like it’s nothing. I’m still a believer in Sam. You watch the end of last season and what he did with Carolina, and you see a lot of stuff where you go, ‘That’s NFL starting quality’ … It’s the feel of the game where he needs to get better at. That’s where I think him not being in the right situation has hurt him. He’s at No. 27 but he has the potential to be someone greater than this. This 49ers offense is made for him.”
No. 26: Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
“Him and Sam Darnold are very similar, but Darnold’s arm is better than Brock Purdy’s. But Brock Purdy is a good athlete, way better than we even think. He can still make a lot of game-changing throws and sees the field phenomenal. For a rookie quarterback, he was an unbelievable decision-maker. He’s got veteran eyes already. He’s not perfect yet – he does need to shorten his motion – but he can make all the throws. He sees the field better and has a better feel for the game overall than Sam Darnold right now, and that’s where I give him the edge. There’s a reason they made him the starter because they have a coaching staff and a bunch of players who believe in him as a leader.”
No. 25: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
“Kenny Pickett’s arm is better than Brock Purdy’s. His release is better. He’s also a better athlete and is bigger. Pickett’s ability to throw the ball into tight windows is phenomenal. (The Steelers) let him throw it 35-40 times a game during the season, that’s usually entrusted to a veteran quarterback…Those are signals that are telling me that they think this of him, and that’s where I think Kenny Pickett doesn’t quite get the credit he deserves. His arm isn’t a superstar arm but it’s damn good. He did a very good job for the situation he was thrown into…I’m still up in the air. There are some things I like but I’m not blown away. He’s got to get a little thicker and a little more muscle.”
To listen to the full player breakdowns on Chris Simms Unbuttoned, click here.
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