Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown Continues Today with Nos. 20-24 and Culminates with the Top Four on Monday, June 12; In-Depth Breakdowns for Each Ranking Weekly on Chris Simms Unbuttoned Podcast
Mac Jones (No. 20), Tua Tagovailoa (No. 21), Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 22), Justin Fields (No. 23), and Baker Mayfield (No. 24)
“Other than (Aaron) Rodgers, he’s the best RPO quarterback in football…but when you break it down, there are so many yards and plays left on the field.”– Simms on Tagovailoa at No. 21
“You know who else didn’t look good in Carolina last year that everybody thinks is awesome now? Christian McCaffrey. The team matters. We never give the quarterback the benefit of the doubt.”– Simms on Mayfield at No. 24
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 24, 2023 – 2021 Pro Bowler Mac Jones of the New England Patriots, 2022 NFL passer rating leader Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins, and 2021 first round pick Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears 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 20-40:
|Sh!t or Get Off the Pot||What is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)|
|20.||Mac Jones, New England||31.||Jordan Love, Green Bay|
|21.||Tua Tagovailoa, Miami||Buzzworthy Backups|
|22.||Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas||32.||Jarrett Stidham, Denver|
|23.||Justin Fields, Chicago||33.||Taylor Heinicke, Atlanta|
|24.||Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay||34.||Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis|
|Sophomore Supremes||35.||Mike White, Miami|
|25.||Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh||Rookies|
|26.||Brock Purdy, San Francisco||36.||Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis|
|Backup Supremes||37.||CJ Stroud, Houston|
|27.||Sam Darnold, San Francisco||38.||Bryce Young, Carolina|
|28.||Andy Dalton, Carolina||Show Me More, Sophomores|
|29.||Tyler Huntley, Baltimore||39.||Sam Howell, Washington|
|30.||Davis Mills, Houston||40.||Desmond Ridder, Atlanta|
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 Tuesday, May 30, with numbers 19-15 on the next episode of Chris Simms Unbuttoned.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Chris Simms Unbuttoned:
No. 24: Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
“Baker Mayfield has an elite arm. It’s one of the stronger arms in the NFL. There are still a lot of starting caliber-type qualities from him…The Browns screwed him over as much as we’ve seen a starting quarterback get screwed over in recent history. Last year wasn’t good but you still saw a lot of good from Baker. You know who else didn’t look good in Carolina last year that everybody thinks is awesome now? Christian McCaffrey. The team matters. We never give the quarterback the benefit of the doubt…I think (Tampa Bay) can be an offense that fits him. His release is quick but it’s not lightening quick. He plays bigger than his size. For the most part, he’s a good decision-maker, but because of his big arm, he can have a tendency to look for more and lose control of the football…He’s got talent, we’ve seen him mature in front of our eyes, and he brings an edge in leadership to your football team.”
No. 23: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
“He’s as dangerous as some of the best receivers and runners in the open field, but his throwing is a collection of great plays with no consistency. In fact, his overall quarterback game is that, and that’s why he’s No. 23 for me…His motion is still funky, and he has no confidence in his throwing. (The Bears) broke out the Wildcat offense and it translated to one win…His arm is not real strong and he’s afraid to step on the gas. He’s tough as hell, his running is insane, but you can tell (the Bears) don’t trust him. You can’t be a top quarterback in football if (your team) is scared to call the plays they want to call on third down…They’re going to try and fit the Jalen Hurts mold and run that offense and we’ll see if we get growth. The negativity is all throwing-based. There are too many open NFL receivers where the ball is not thrown or off-target and that’s where he’s really got to progress this year.”
No. 22: Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders
“Does he have superstar potential? No. Do I think if he plays his best football, he can be in the top 12 or 13? I do. He played some of his best football last year. Within that, and why he’s No. 22, he’s still good for one bad throw a game, and that’s hopefully one thing (Raiders head coach) Josh McDaniels can work out of him. I think the Raiders’ offense fits him better. There’s a little bit more leeway in the system for him to be comfortable there…He is absolutely fearless in the pocket. He’s a way-below average runner for the NFL, but like (Dan) Marino, he knows where to slide. …The Raiders want a tough guy to step in the pocket and not worry about anybody hitting them. They hold that in high regard, and I think he does have an advantage over Derek Carr and that’s why they were like, ‘We’re good with Jimmy G.’”
No. 21: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
“He runs that offense to a T. He arguably has the quickest release in football. Other than (Aaron) Rodgers, he’s the best RPO quarterback in football. But his arm is below-average for an NFL starter. It doesn’t create much on its own. Nobody would watch Tua film and go, ‘It’s lasers.’ When you break it down, there are so many yards and plays left on the field…The variety of releases is awesome. He’s not a great runner but he’s a good athlete…He’s not durable. It’s been an issue his whole career. He plays small in the pocket, he loses control of power throws down the field, and when teams took away some of those trick plays, he couldn’t deliver…He’s the perfect fit for this offense. I would run those same things with Tua, too, but that doesn’t mean the 20 other guys in front of him can’t do it either and then some other stuff as well.”
No. 20: Mac Jones, New England Patriots
“Better than it seemed last year. Incredible decision-maker. Incredible anticipation and accuracy. The worst offensive coaching in football last year – it was the Patriots. Offense basic as hell. Which receiver on the Patriots were you scared of? You don’t think Mac would have looked different if he were on the Dolphins? … Even though his arm isn’t a ‘wow’ arm, it’s above-NFL average. He has a great ability to know the defense and what might be available…There’s a reason that the (Kyle) Shanahan’s and the McDaniels’ of the world like these guys. I’ve yet to hear a player or a coach around him who doesn’t think he’s a top-notch leader that brings edge and energy to the football team. The durability and the leadership aspect is the nudge that gave him the edge over Tua.”
To listen to the full player breakdowns on Chris Simms Unbuttoned, click here.
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