Wednesday, March 25th, 2020


Simms’ Top Five Prospects: Joe Burrow (#1), Justin Herbert (#2), Jordan Love (#3), Tua Tagovailoa (#4), and Jacob Eason (#5)

“It’s the cleanest film I’ve ever seen from a college quarterback.” – Simms on Joe Burrow

“Being in the Top 10, it would scare me with Tua.” – Simms on teams looking to draft Tua Tagovailoa

“I think he’s got the best arm of any of these quarterbacks in this draft.” – Simms on Justin Herbert

 “They can be superstar physical talents who I think can take over games.” – Simms on Herbert and Jordan Love

STAMFORD, Conn. – March 25, 2020 – NBC Sports’ Chris Simms unveiled his quarterback draft rankings, discussing this year’s top QB prospects heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. In the episode, Simms ranks and breaks down LSU’s Joe Burrow, Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Utah State’s Jordan Love, and more.

Simms, a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2003 NFL Draft who played eight NFL seasons, is joined by NBC Sports’ Ahmed Fareed on the podcast. The two offer in-depth breakdowns, potential draft sleepers, and NFL comparisons for this year’s top quarterback prospects.

“To me, there’s a top-four that kind of stand alone,” Simms said about this year’s quarterback draft class. “There are some other guys that are on my radar that as I watch more of them down the line, I’m not so sure they can’t challenge to be in that fifth spot in the conversation. We’ve got a little bit of everything in this class and I’m excited to break this down.”

Simms’ Top Five QB prospects:

1. Joe Burrow, LSU
2. Justin Herbert, Oregon
3. Jordan Love, Utah State
4. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
5. Jacob Eason, Washington


The following are highlights from Simms’ QB draft rankings:

No. 5: Jacob Eason, Washington

Simms: “He is more of your prototypical pocket-passing quarterback. He wants to stand in there and try to throw all over the field. The first thing is, I think that type of quarterback is a dying breed in the NFL…quarterbacks that can’t get out of the pocket, can’t move around in the pocket, make plays off-schedule like that. If you look at all the top quarterbacks in football, they’re all capable of doing that…Good player, I do think he’s a guy that probably needs to go somewhere and sit a year or two. He’s got some potential, but I think he’s got to speed up his release, speed up his feet and just become a better overall athlete…My comparison would be Ryan Mallett.”

No. 4: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Simms: “I do like his talent, there’s no doubt…Am I taking a little off the table because of the injury history? Yes. Am I taking a little off just because he’s injured right now? Yes…I’m not so sure he knows how to get out of harm’s way…He had a ton of talent around him (at Alabama). This is where we have to be careful when we evaluate quarterbacks…He’s a gifted athlete, he’s got great feet, he can hop around the pocket, he’s a good runner…I don’t think he’s necessarily going to be a great runner in the NFL…He’s a natural at the quarterback position, he really does understand it…He is very scary to me, I’m not necessarily sold that the type of style he plays will translate to the NFL…I’m certainly docking him a little bit because of size, injury history and further injury concern…Being in the Top 10, it would scare me with Tua.”

No. 3: Jordan Love, Utah State

Simms: “He has good size, he’s a good athlete. He does a great job of staying in throwing position in the pocket – he’s fearless that way…He can throw it effortlessly…I think he’s a guy that has room to grow. Is he a little raw? Certainly, but I think between his size, athleticism, composure – that I think showed off on film – and then his ability to throw the football. Yeah, I think his game translates better to the NFL than someone like Tua…Listen, if Jordan Love was on Alabama, his stats would look a whole lot different.”

No. 2: Justin Herbert, Oregon

Simms: “I think he’s got the best arm of any of these quarterbacks in this draft…A really gifted thrower allows an offense to open up…Really good athlete, can throw with people around him and, to me, can make the most ‘wow’ throws out of anybody I’ve seen in this draft at this point…He might not be the quickest or the fastest to accelerate, but he’s the fastest quarterback out of all the guys when he opens up…He’s a special athlete that way…I think he has an incredibly high ceiling like Jordan Love. They can be superstar physical talents who I think can take over games.”

No. 1: Joe Burrow, LSU

Simms: “It’s the cleanest film I’ve ever seen from a college quarterback. I’ve just never seen more accurate throws, more proper decisions, more of the ability to read and react in the pocket…Incredibly accurate, incredible presence and pocket poise. He really can manipulate the pocket. For a #1 pick in the draft, I just wish he had a little bit more of a physically gifted arm, but I just think everything else is so damn good, you can’t pass him up…He’s a better athlete than Tom Brady [but] doesn’t have as good of an arm as Tom Brady. He reminds me more of Peyton Manning, honestly. I think he’s more of that guy than Tom Brady. Not necessarily going to wow you with all of these power throws, but the decision making, can make all the throws, and then the pinpoint accuracy to go with it and the size and strength to throw with a mosh pit around him and not be affected. Very, very special that way.”

Honorable Mentions: Jake Luton, Oregon State and James Morgan, Florida International

Simms: “Those were two guys that I saw and said, ‘Man, they can spin it, they got some legit talent there.’ They might have a chance to do something here in the NFL if they get in the right spot, the right opportunity.”

To hear the full episode with full prospect breakdowns, click here.

The Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast is available for download on all major podcast platforms including:, NBC Sports’ Scores app, Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and iHeart.