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“If he doesn’t get hurt and continues on the trend that he’s on, he’s definitely right around the top ten.” – Simms on Joe Burrow

“He’s shown me the ability to play at an extremely high level, so I’m not going to just knock him because of one year.” – Simms on Carson Wentz

Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown Culminates with the Top Four on Monday, June 21

STAMFORD, Conn. – June 7, 2021 – NBC Sports’ Chris Simms continues to unveil his list of the top 40 quarterbacks in the NFL on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and “PFT Live” with the QBs ranked 17-20.

Beginning last month and culminating Monday, June 21 with his top five quarterbacks in the league, Simms will unveil his 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; quarterbacks ranked 17-40:

17.Joe Burrow, Cincinnati29.Andy Dalton, Chicago
18.Carson Wentz, Indianapolis30.Mac Jones, New England
19.Sam Darnold, Carolina31.Jared Goff, Detroit
20.Cam Newton, New England32.Teddy Bridgewater, Denver
21.Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco33.Drew Lock, Denver
22.Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh34.Tua Tagovailoa, Miami
23.Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington35.Tyrod Taylor, Houston
24.Taysom Hill, New Orleans36.Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas
25.Jameis Winston, New Orleans37.Kellen Mond, Minnesota
26.Daniel Jones, NY Giants38.Trey Lance, San Francisco
27.Zach Wilson, NY Jets39.Justin Fields, Chicago
28.Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville40.Case Keenum, Cleveland

The rankings will continue Wednesday, June 9 with numbers and 13-16 on the next episode of Chris Simms Unbuttoned.

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

No. 20: Cam Newton, New England Patriots

Simms: “Cam Newton is still one of the 20 best quarterbacks in football for my money…It’s not about the quarterback stats all the time, it’s the effect you have on the football game. He’s a little bit of a force of nature that way and I think that sometimes gets swept under the rug…Cam Newton still has got one of the greatest presence of all quarterbacks on the NFL field…He’s a great leader, he’s a great worker…You have to get over the passing numbers at times, and I understand work needs to be done…He’s one of the best running quarterbacks in football still, and his skillset running the football is one of the things that made that not-very-talented offense somewhat of a threat in certain weeks and it certainly made them one of the best running offenses in football.”

No. 19: Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

Simms: “I’m excited about Sam Darnold. We’re going to get answers about Sam Darnold this year…(The Jets) never gave him support, but Darnold still has, to me, all the physical attributes to be a big-time franchise quarterback. I see it. I don’t care about the results and the stats and the win-loss. I can see it. He is awesome in the pocket, he scrambles within the pocket which is rare – it’s almost like Big Ben in his prime – but yet this guy can get outside the pocket and run…Sam Darnold has a little of everything in his football game, we just haven’t been able to see it because they didn’t support him…Quick release, phenomenal intermediate thrower. I thought he got better at deep-ball throwing last year…Now we’re going to see some pieces around him to really prove my point.”

No. 18: Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

Simms: “Last year was rough, we know that, but I’ve seen enough in Carson Wentz’ career…He let the situation around him affect him last year, and it pushed him to make some poor decisions and then try to carry the team like he did the year before…He was too reckless with the football…We’re talking about a guy that has a good arm, he’s a phenomenal athlete, he has great size and, even though the year wasn’t great last year, the circumstance around him was really bad…He’s shown me the ability to play at an extremely high level, so I’m not going to just knock him because of one year on a bad offense with a bad supporting staff.”

No. 17: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Simms: “He’s at 17 because of the current status of his injury…If he doesn’t get hurt and continues on the trend that he’s on, he’s definitely right around the top ten. The guy has it all. There’s only one thing missing from Joe Burrow’s game – maybe a little bit more of an explosive element from his right arm…When I go back and watch Joe Burrow, first off, it’s like, ‘Is this really a rookie?’ … He plays the position the right way, gets the ball out of his hands, throws with great accuracy…It was phenomenal. He’s as slippery and as slick in the pocket as anybody in football. He has a legit running ability…His ability to make plays off-schedule is almost as impressive as his ability to make them on-schedule…He doesn’t have that rocket arm like Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes, but when he gets out of the pocket he is still looking to throw and that’s what I love about him.”

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