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Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown Kicks Off Today with Nos. 40-36 and Culminates with the Top Four on Monday, June 12; In-Depth Breakdowns for Each Ranking Weekly on Chris Simms Unbuttoned Podcast

Anthony Richardson (No. 36), CJ Stroud (No. 37), Bryce Young (No. 38), Sam Howell (No. 39), and Desmond Ridder (No. 40)

“It’s hard to think that the S2 [test] is real when you watch him on film. He makes very few bad decisions.”– Simms on Stroud at No. 37

“Anthony Richardson’s adjustment to the NFL is going to be easier than [Young’s and Stroud’s] because of his ability to run…We’ve never seen anyone like this..”– Simms on Richardson at No. 36

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 15, 2023 – 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’ initial rankings are the first two overall picks of the 2023 NFL Draft, Bryce Young of the Carolina Panthers and CJ Stroud of the Houston Texans, as well as the Indianapolis Colts’ fourth overall pick, Anthony Richardson.

Beginning the countdown, Simms unveiled his quarterbacks ranked 40-36 today:

36.Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis
37.CJ Stroud, Houston
38.Bryce Young, Carolina

Show Me More, Sophomores

39.Sam Howell, Washington
40.Desmond Ridder, Atlanta

Beginning today and culminating Monday, June 12 with his top four quarterbacks, Simms will unveil a group of quarterbacks 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 Wednesday, May 17, with numbers 35-31 on the next episode of Chris Simms Unbuttoned.

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

No. 40: Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons

“I think he’s very even-keeled, nothing really affects him. On the field, there were improvements from last year from what I saw in college…He’s on an upward trajectory. He’s throwing the ball with more authority. None of that is consistently good yet, though. That’s why he’s 40. He’s a rookie, in my eyes. There are some things there that need to be refined in his game and [the Falcons] obviously think he can do it.”

No. 39: Sam Howell, Washington Commanders

“He’s an aggressive decision-maker. I think he’s a better thrower than Desmond Ridder. There are some mechanical things that I wish he was better at. He’s got a little more pop in his arm than I gave him credit for coming out of college. He’s an underrated athlete; we talked about him being a bigger version of Baker Mayfield coming out, and he showed that in the preseason and in that [Week 18] game against the Cowboys. He never really gets his shoulder to the target, but the ball comes out of his hand clean, and he controls it pretty well…He’s got a good feel for the game overall that I really like.”

No. 38: Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

“There’s no doubt that every coach on [the Panthers] took the field this week and thought, ‘Man, he’s small.’ It’s uncharted waters. They didn’t take him No. 1 [in the 2023 NFL Draft] to sit on the bench. I think he’ll get every opportunity to be the starting quarterback. He’s slick, he’s a natural at the position, he’s got a lot of different releases, he’s extremely smart pre-snap or post-snap, so I think it’s just a matter of time. He would have to fail in a pretty big way for him not to be the starter in the preseason.”

No. 37: CJ Stroud, Houston Texans

“I love CJ Stroud. [Houston is] a great offense for him. He is just a pure bullseye thrower of the football. It’s hard to think that the S2 [test] is real when you watch him on film. He makes very few bad decisions. I think he can be a star. Like Bryce Young, he’s going to have a lot thrown on his plate and he’s not going to have the advantage of being on Ohio State’s football team…but I think he’ll clearly be the starter on Day 1. He’s just a better version of Davis Mills. He’s so mechanically smooth…I think he’s made for the NFL.”

No. 36: Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

“Anthony Richardson’s adjustment to the NFL is going to be easier than [Young’s and Stroud’s] because of his ability to run. There’s going to be an easier developmental process and an easier ability to have success and affect on the football team right away. That helps his transition early on. Between that skillset, it does give him an advantage…That doesn’t mean it will necessarily translate throughout his career, but off the bat here I do think it makes it easier. We’ve never seen anyone like this.”

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