Monday, May 24th, 2021


Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown Culminates with the Top Four on Monday, June 21; In-Depth Breakdowns for Each Ranking Weekly on Chris Simms Unbuttoned Podcast

Rookies Justin Fields (No. 39), Trey Lance (No. 38) & Kellen Mond (No. 37), Case Keenum (No. 40), and Marcus Mariota (No. 36) Ranked #36-40 in the Simms Top 40 QB Countdown

“He has all the tools to be a superstar…He’s got the potential to be a top 20 guy halfway through the year…(But) he can fall down farther than 39.” – Simms on Justin Fields

“I love the top-end talent and there is more consistency (than Fields) with Trey Lance’s throwing… I still have questions with the lack of playing time and the mechanical issues.” – Simms on Trey Lance

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 24, 2021 – Over the course of the next month, NBC Sports’ Chris Simms will unveil his list of the top 40 quarterbacks in the NFL on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and on “PFT Live.”

Beginning this week and culminating Monday, June 21 with his top four quarterbacks in the league, Simms will unveil four selections on each Chris Simms Unbuttoned episode and discuss his rankings on “PFT Live” with Mike Florio.

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.

“I think about this stuff all the time,” Simms said. “I am always semi-ranking the top 10 or 15 in my brain throughout the year in football. It’s just what I do, what I’ve always done…It’s not about what you have done all-time or what you will do three years down the road. It’s about what you can do for me this year.”

To kick off the countdown, Simms unveiled his quarterbacks ranked 36-40:


36. Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas
37. Kellen Mond, Minnesota
38. Trey Lance, San Francisco
39. Justin Fields, Chicago
40. Case Keenum, Cleveland


The rankings will continue Wednesday with numbers and 31-35 on the next episode of Chris Simms Unbuttoned.

The following are highlights from this week’s editions of Chris Simms Unbuttoned:

No. 40: Case Keenum, Cleveland Browns

Simms: “One of the ultimate backups, one of the best backups in football. A guy that certainly I would give some dollars to to be that backup…Has no weaknesses in his game…Maybe there’s no elite thing about his game either, but Case Keenum is a high-level backup that we already know can be a starter and take over for a team, and if the team’s right, you don’t miss much or miss a beat at all…He’s a perfect fit in Cleveland…Let’s say Baker Mayfield gets hurt in Week 10 this year…you’re in good shape. You can win playoff games, you can win a Super Bowl with Case Keenum.”

No. 39: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

Simms: “Is he a guy that can be on here and play and make a huge jump by the time we get to Week 10? No doubt about it. He’s got that type of talent, but we’ll see. He scares me, just like he did in the draft process, for me to put him too much higher in the rankings. Special running ability, we know the arm is top-notch, and when you piece it all together…he has all the tools to be a superstar. Now, it’s just going to have to be putting it together. That’s why he’s No. 39. He’s got the potential to be a top 20 guy halfway through the year. He really does, but he’s got some other issues where I don’t know, he can fall down farther than 39 if it got to the bad aspects that scare me.”

No. 38: Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

Simms: “He hasn’t played as much football, but I love the top-end talent and there is more consistency (than Fields) with Trey Lance’s throwing. Now, it still needs work…but either way, Lance has some special attributes. The running is real…His arm, like Justin Fields too, it’s really powerful. I would say, really in a lot of ways, it’s more powerful than Justin Fields because there is a little more consistency in the mechanics and controlling of the football to where he can throw it hard and still control it. Fields can throw it hard and sometimes control it…So that’s the reason Lance is in front of Fields, but yes, I still have questions with the lack of playing time and the mechanical issues.”

No. 37: Kellen Mond, Minnesota Vikings

Simms: “He’s one of the most NFL-ready rookies…Him and Mac Jones might have been the most NFL-ready, pocket passing quarterbacks…That’s why I had Kellen Mond fourth in my (NFL Draft) quarterback rankings and that was a big reason…It’s not going to be an adjustment, he’s got no mechanical issues. The only thing that’s wrong with this guy is I just wish he would scramble a little bit more and maybe be a little looser with the ball. But those are easy fixes. He’s in the perfect spot in Minnesota, an offense that really fits him…If called upon, I don’t think Minnesota would have to change anything.”

No. 36: Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas Raiders

Simms: “What really jumped out to me in the game he got to play this year…he threw the ball better. Was it perfect? No…But there’s still a presence on the field…He has been to the playoffs, he can lead people that way, and his skillset is still pretty special, too. We saw that in the one game he had to come in to relieve Derek Carr…He made some big-time passes in a game where it was against a good defense…Under (Raiders head coach Jon) Gruden, do I feel like he had some growth in the pass game? Yeah, of course I do…A guy that I still think, if he gets his opportunity, can be a starter in the NFL.”

To listen to the full player breakdowns on Chris Simms Unbuttoned, click here.