Monday, May 16th, 2022


Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown Culminates with the Top Four on Monday, June 13; In-Depth Breakdowns for Each Ranking Weekly on Chris Simms Unbuttoned Podcast

Tyrod Taylor (No. 36), Gardner Minshew (No. 37), Teddy Bridgewater (No. 38), Rookie Kenny Pickett (No. 39), and Drew Lock (No. 40) Ranked #36-40 in the Simms Top 40 QB Countdown

“I wish there was more big-play ability and a little more aggressiveness, but as far as being ready to play in the NFL, I have no doubt this guy is going to be ready. He’s going to be able to run an offense.” – Simms on Pickett at No. 39

“He has the type of talent to be in the top 18, top 15, but playing the position, he’s not great at it yet…You can’t trust him.” – Simms on Lock at No. 40

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 16, 2022 – 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 today and culminating Monday, June 13 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.

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.

“It’s not an easy exercise. There’s a lot of good quarterbacks in the NFL,” Simms said. “There’s four categories that I’m big on: Physical talent, that’s the number one thing. Throwing and running, taking both of those into account – that’s part of the game right now in the 2022 NFL. The next big thing would be the mental aspect…Third would be leadership, the effect you have on the football team…and the last one to me would be pocket presence, because there is something to that…Those four things to me are really the way I break it down.”

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

36. Tyrod Taylor, New York Giants
37. Gardner Minshew, Philadelphia
38. Teddy Bridgewater, Miami
39. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
40. Drew Lock, Seattle


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: Drew Lock, Seattle Seahawks

Simms: “There’s things to like about his game. There’s real talent to the player. The talent of the player is better than 40. He has the type of talent to be in the top 18, top 15, but playing the position, he’s not great at it yet. To me, the biggest reason he’s at 40 is – for lack of a better way to say it – he’s not in the trust tree. You can’t trust him. You can’t trust him with decision-making, taking care of the football, and that’s the piece we’re still missing with Drew Lock…Consistency is the issue. We’ve seen snippets…but it just never quite gets there. He’s a little bit all over the place when you break him down…He’s a guy who has a higher ceiling than 40 for sure, but right now I can’t put him any higher than that because I don’t really know what to expect out of him when you put him on the field.”

No. 39: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers

Simms: “A lot of the things that we talk about with Drew Lock that I don’t trust, with Kenny Pickett I don’t have those same feelings…As far as the mental aspect, it’s as impressive as it gets coming out of college the last few years. Mac Jones and Joe Burrow are the only two guys I can remember in recent history…In the pocket, making decisions, going through reads, putting the ball in the right spot. It’s as good as anybody we’ve seen come out there, and I think that’s why some teams absolutely loved him at the draft. It’s the high-end talent that I question, but he’s still a starting quarterback here. I wish there was more big-play ability and a little more aggressiveness, but as far as being ready to play in the NFL, I have no doubt this guy is going to be ready. He’s going to be able to run an offense – he’s been playing in a pro offense – and he’s very well-schooled at playing within the pocket and making decisions and throws that way. That’s why I like him and that’s why I’m going to put him in front of Drew Lock.”

No. 38: Teddy Bridgewater, Miami Dolphins

Simms: “Teddy Bridgewater is the ultimate backup. That’s what he is. I would never want him starting for my football team, as we saw from the two seasons previous to this. That’s just not what he is. Teddy Bridgewater does a lot of really good things. He’s got good control of the football and accuracy, he is a pretty good decision-maker, his arm is solid, he’s a good athlete. My big thing with Teddy Bridgewater, especially at this point in his career, is we know who he is. He’s not big-time and he’s not the future of any franchise, and my biggest thing with him more than anything is…the 2022 NFL, to me, doesn’t translate to a guy like Teddy Bridgewater, to guys who don’t go and try to win the game. They just go and try not to lose it. It’s hard to win in the NFL when you have a quarterback who just tries not to lose.”

No. 37: Gardner Minshew, Philadelphia Eagles

Simms: “One of the best backup quarterbacks in all of football…Ultimately, a low-end starter in the NFL, really high-end backup. You can depend on him as a backup. He’s a natural at the position, a little bit where the physical skills are not as good as Drew Lock or even Kenny Pickett – maybe his arm may not even be as good as Teddy Bridgewater – but Minshew can really play. Minshew is a very good decision-maker, Minshew is really crafty and good in the pocket, Minshew brings a leadership and a flair to your football team that is undeniable. In fact, it’s one of the rarest backups I’ve ever seen from that aspect and the team gravitates towards it…He’s got great anticipation and great touch and can change the arm angle. He’s a guy that can really play…He’s one of the best backups in football and that’s why I have him ahead of Teddy Bridgewater. I think there’s an element he brings to a team that Bridgewater doesn’t and that’s why I notched him up ahead.”

No. 36: Tyrod Taylor, New York Giants

Simms: “I feel bad for the guy at times because he’s been a little unlucky. One of the reasons he’s a backup and in this spot is you can’t depend on him to stay healthy throughout the year. That would be one thing that’s a little concerning about him…but Tyrod Taylor has some big-time elements of his skillset that are starting quarterback worthy…It’s a really good arm. Him and Drew Lock would have the two best arms of the guys here so far. He can pump it down the field 60-yard, 70-yard post routes. He’s got some strength. We know he’s a good athlete too…But Tyrod Taylor has a little bit of the Teddy Bridgewater in him to a degree that does bother me in the fact that it’s a careful football game at times, it’s not always taking advantage of what’s there to be had…There is some ability to make some high-end, awesome stuff happen, but it’s too few and far between at times.”

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