FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 7th, 2024

CHRIS SIMMS’ 2024 NFL DRAFT QUARTERBACK RANKINGS TOPPED BY USC’S CALEB WILLIAMS; AVAILABLE NOW ON “CHRIS SIMMS UNBUTTONED” PODCAST

“I feel about as confident as I do with Caleb Williams as I did with C.J. Stroud last year, as I did with Joe Burrow (in 2020), as I did with Patrick Mahomes (in 2017).” – Simms on ranking Williams No. 1

“I think in a lot of other years, Jayden Daniels is clearly the No. 1 pick in the draft.” – Simms on LSU QB Jayden Daniels

“The age thing is overblown. In a lot of ways, it’s a positive. He’s ready right now.” – Simms on Oregon QB Bo Nix

STAMFORD, Conn. – March 7, 2024 – NBC Sports’ Chris Simms discusses this year’s top quarterback prospects heading into the 2024 NFL Draft and unveiled his QB draft rankings on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast, listing USC’s Caleb Williams No. 1. In the episode, Simms ranks and analyzes Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Oregon’s Bo Nix, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, and North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

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, rankings, and NFL comparisons for this year’s top quarterback prospects.

Simms has had recent success in projecting college wide receivers – including naming C.J. Stroud, who was named AP’s Offensive Rookie of the Year following his first season with the Houston Texans, as his top QB prospect in 2023. Additionally, Simms has named Patrick Mahomes as his most exciting prospect in 2017, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen as his top-two QBs in 2018, and Justin Herbert as his No. 2 QB in 2020.

In the lead up to April’s NFL Draft, Simms will rank and break down every position group, provide a list of sleeper prospects, and issue a final mock draft.

Simms’ Top Five QB prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft:

 

Tier 1: A Class of His Own
1. Caleb Williams, USC
Tier 2: #1 in Other Years
2. Jayden Daniels, LSU
Tier 3: Franchise Starting QB
3. Bo Nix, Oregon
4. Michael Penix Jr., Washington
5. J.J. McCarthy, Michigan
Tier 4: Talented Project
6. Drake Maye, North Carolina

 

The following are highlights from Simms’ QB draft rankings:

No. 1: Caleb Williams, USC

“Caleb Williams is one of the greatest quarterback talents that I’ve ever evaluated coming out of the draft. He has got it all. I feel about as confident as I do with Caleb Williams as I did with C.J. Stroud last year, as I did with Joe Burrow (in 2020), as I did with Patrick Mahomes (in 2017) …This guy is an all-time thrower. Every time someone is open, BOOM, he hits him…The athleticism is phenomenal. The plays off-schedule are incredible. He is the most patient person in the pocket in the draft.”

No. 2: Jayden Daniels, LSU

“Washington Commanders, run to the podium as soon as Caleb Williams goes to Chicago. I think in a lot of other years, Jayden Daniels is clearly the No. 1 pick in the draft…He’s a machine throwing the football. Mechanically flawless…The running is elite. He’s going to come into the NFL and arguably be the second-best running QB right off the bat, because I’m still going to give Justin Fields No. 1 in the prime of his career, but he’s going to challenge Lamar (Jackson) as the No. 2. He runs like an elite NFL wide receiver when he breaks the pocket…He’s got some elite traits and is a big-time starting NFL quarterback.”

No. 3: Bo Nix, Oregon

“Maybe one of the most pleasant surprises of this process. He’s a really awesome athlete. He plays quarterback like an NFL quarterback, his ability to read the field and make quick decisions, throw the appropriate ball. His backyard playmaking ability is elite. Only Caleb Williams is better throwing the ball on the run than him. His body, front shoulder turn, balance on his feet is pretty perfect…Let me just say this too: (Broncos head coach) Sean Payton is going to draft Bo Nix if he’s there at No. 13. I sat there and watched him and thought, ‘Oh my god. Sean Payton is going to love Bo Nix’ … The age thing [24 years old] is overblown. In a lot of ways, it’s a positive. He’s ready right now.”

No. 4: Michael Penix Jr., Washington

“Seeing him in person, seeing the way the ball spins, seeing the way he can push the ball effortlessly down the football field is special….You’re not going to get a lot of outside-the-pocket type of plays with Michael Penix….But you’re going to get a lot of in-the-pocket throws that make you say, ‘Whoo, what a throw.’ That’s special instincts and feel right there.”

No. 5: J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

“It’s not easy to play the way he played. Hand the ball off, hand the ball off, hand the ball off, ‘Hey it’s 3rd-and-13 can you throw a strike in rhythm?’…He has different arm angles. J.J. McCarthy can throw the ball sidearm, he can slide and still hit an in-cut and throw it sidearm between the guard and the tackle and do all that. Totally naturally, smooth, fluid motion with very good power in his arm. He does not get enough credit for how powerful his arm is. Michigan wasn’t a dink-and-dunk offense…He does it effortlessly…the mechanics are really good. He’s got great feet to pop and move and make people miss.”

No. 6: Drake Maye, North Carolina

“I think there’s potential here. That’s where it’s tough. There’s something where I go, ‘Yes.’ But I don’t think it’s anywhere near right around the corner. He needs to sit on the bench a bit, he needs to work on some real mechanical issues that he has. Going through reads, I don’t think he’s in the same class as the guys we’ve talked about. The guy has 70-yard touchdown runs in college football, he’s a good athlete. He just does not see the field as well as these other guys and that’s why he’s number six.”

-NBC SPORTS-