Thursday, May 19th, 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

Trey Lance (No. 31), Sam Darnold (No. 32), Geno Smith (No. 33), Tyler Huntley (No. 34), and Davis Mills (No. 35) Ranked #31-35 in the Simms Top 40 QB Countdown

“The arm is ridiculously strong and he’s a good athlete. I think the accuracy is still the biggest question…You’ve got to start him. The 49ers are a Super Bowl team.”– Simms on Lance at No. 31

“If [the Panthers] slip up and he doesn’t play well, I think he’ll have a short leash this year.”– Simms on Darnold at No. 32

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 19, 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.” Highlighting Simms’ latest rankings are 2021 third overall pick Trey Lance of the San Francisco 49ers, current Carolina Panthers starter Sam Darnold, and second-year signal caller Davis Mills of the Houston Texans.

Continuing the countdown, Simms unveiled his quarterbacks ranked 31-35:


31. Trey Lance, San Francisco
32. Sam Darnold, Carolina
33. Geno Smith, Seattle
34. Tyler Huntley, Baltimore
35. Davis Mills, Houston


Beginning earlier this week 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.

The rankings will continue Monday, May 23 with numbers 30-26 on the next episode of Chris Simms Unbuttoned.

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

No. 35: Davis Mills, Houston Texans

“One of the more pleasant surprises. He’s got some ability in his game, more than I gave him credit for coming out of Stanford. He knows how to play in the pocket…He can read a defense and make the appropriate decision. He’s not a ‘thrower,’ he’s a ‘passer.’ He’s more about timing and rhythm and anticipation. It’s not huge talent, but it’s good talent, and his ability to play the position is pretty advanced for the age he’s at right now. That’s why I put him ahead of guys like Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater…He started making plays and dictating the game himself…If he stays on the course, he’s going to be the starter and be the guy.”

No. 34: Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens

“He maybe was put in the toughest spot of anybody last year. He has a pretty strong arm, he can push the ball down the field, and he can put enough zip on it to put some balls into tight windows over the middle to Mark Andrews and company. The other thing I love about him is he does want to stay in the pocket…He’s a pretty good decision maker. He showed a little bit of a ‘clutch’ gene – the way he played in the Packers and Rams games, he certainly wasn’t afraid of the big lights of the moment. He’s going upwards. I love his game. He’ll be a low-end starter when it’s all said and done.”

No. 33: Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

“Geno’s big, [his] arm is big, plays in the pocket pretty damn well. [His] release is legit one of the quicker releases in all of football. He’s found the right way to throw the ball for him…It’s a little over the top, but it’s quick. I thought he played really good football against some good teams. He made throws or plays that really changed the game or changed the field position. People are not giving Geno Smith enough credit for his ability…I would say Geno is more accurate and throws the ball better (than Drew Lock). I do think he has the talent and potential to be a mainstay type of starter in the NFL. He’s never going to be top 15, but I do think he can be that guy.”

No. 32: Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

“He can move and run better than people realize. He doesn’t have any different arm angles – every throw is pretty much the same with [him]. He has a very quick release. That’s the one thing I’ve always liked about him. He doesn’t see the field that well…my biggest complaint about him more than anything is he still misses too many of the big throws down the field. Decision making? Big question mark. Leadership, what he brings to the team? There’s not much. Tyler Huntley, Gardner Minshew, those guys bring something to the offense with their leadership…there’s none of that with Sam Darnold. If [the Panthers] slip up and he doesn’t play good, I think he’ll have a short leash this year.”

No. 31: Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

“I see the talent, the potential. There’s no doubt. The arm is ridiculously strong and he’s a good athlete. I think the accuracy is still the biggest question – just the pure ability to be a passer and a thrower and then the ability to throw the appropriate ball. I think the thing that’s concerning is…almost 50% of his completions are, ‘Whoa, that guy barely caught it.’ You see very few quarterback plays. Too many of the big plays were just (head coach Kyle) Shanahan serving it up on a platter. Shanahan will highlight the good things he does, and that will help the growing curve. You’ve got to start him…the 49ers are a Super Bowl team.”

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