Chris Simms top 40 QB countdown, No. 18: Josh Allen

Chris Simms top 40 QB: Josh Allen
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He’s gradually climbing the ladder toward franchise quarterback status.

Josh Allen, the highest-rated quarterback from the class of 2018 not named Lamar Jackson, comes in at No. 18 on the Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown.

The Bills quarterback took the team to the playoffs in 2019, and he performed very well (for the most part) against the Texans. This year, he’ll be expected to help Buffalo challenge the Patriots atop the AFC East.

If Allen can pull it off, he could be landing a lot higher next year, maybe even in the top 10.

Check out the video from Thursday’s PFT Live, which explains Allen’s strengths and weaknesses and prospects in more details.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 27: Andy Dalton

No. 26: Joe Burrow

No. 25: Drew Lock

No. 24 Jared Goff

No. 23: Sam Darnold

No. 22: Daniel Jones

No. 21: Baker Mayfield

No. 20: Jimmy Garoppolo

No. 19: Derek Carr

Chris Simms top 40 QB countdown, No. 19: Derek Carr

Chris Simms top 40 QB: Derek Carr
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Good news, Derek Carr: You made it to the top 20 of the Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown.

Bad news, Derek Carr: You’re No. 19.

Carr is the one franchise quarterback whose franchise is most ambivalent about him. From coach Jon Gruden seemingly tiptoeing around a thin-skinned signal-caller with an itchy Twitter block finger to G.M. Mike Mayock repeatedly saying publicly that the Raiders are constantly looking to upgrade at every position including starting quarterback, there’s a sense that Gruden and Mayock aren’t truly all in with the quarterback they inherited, and that they’re biding their time until someone better comes along.

Carr definitely has high-end skills, as Simms and I discussed on Thursday’s PFT Live. Carr throws the ball accurately, releases it quickly, and has surprisingly quick feet — even if his running stride is much closer to George Costanza than Usain Bolt.

Carr did enough in 2019 to make it to Las Vegas, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll earn a second season. Unless and until the team starts contending seriously for playoff berths, each year will potentially be Carr’s last year with the Raiders unless his last year finally happens.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 27: Andy Dalton

No. 26: Joe Burrow

No. 25: Drew Lock

No. 24 Jared Goff

No. 23: Sam Darnold

No. 22: Daniel Jones

No. 21: Baker Mayfield

No. 20: Jimmy Garoppolo

The Chris Simms top 40 QB countdown, No. 21: Baker Mayfield

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Baker Mayfield
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After a rookie season that put him close to the category of franchise quarterback, Baker Mayfield regressed to the lower reaches of the middle of the pack.

Mayfield comes in at No. 21, down four spots from last year.

The first pick in the 2018 draft arguably could have been higher in 2019. He easily could have been lower in 2020.

But his issues likely are fixable, tracing largely to footwoork deficiencies, a tendency to throw the ball too hard, and perhaps the extra pressure that came from an expectation to get the ball to receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., regardless of what the defense may have been doing to keep him from getting open. Simms and I addressed the various angles during Wednesday’s PFT Live, coming to the conclusion that given the supporting cast and the coaching change (new head coach Kevin Stefanski worked with many different quarterbacks during 14 seasons with the Vikings), 2020 should look more like 2018 than 2019 for Mayfield.

Whatever happened in 2019, Mayfield needs to turn the page on it and embrace a future that hopefully will see better accentuation of his strengths and better minimization of his weaknesses.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 27: Andy Dalton

No. 26: Joe Burrow

No. 25: Drew Lock

No. 24 Jared Goff

No. 23: Sam Darnold

No. 22: Daniel Jones

The Chris Simms top 40 QB countdown, No. 22: Daniel Jones

Chris Simms top 40 QB: Daniel Jones
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Last year, Chris Simms wasn’t a fan of the decision of the Giants to make Daniel Jones the next successor to a job once held by Phil Simms. This year, the younger Simms is a believer in Jones.

The guy Simms ranked sixth among the incoming 2019 quarterbacks lands at No. 22 on the list of all NFL quarterbacks in 2020.

Yes, Jones had 18 fumbles last year, the most by any player since 2002. But the also threw 24 touchdown passes, the fourth most of any rookie in league history. And he has shown that he has the skills and instincts to become a very good NFL quarterback, justifying the decision to use the sixth overall pick on Jones and to nudge Eli Manning first to the bench and then to retirement.

The countdown continues on Wednesday’s PFT Live with the next two, No. 21 and No. 20, setting the stage for the climb to this year’s No. 1.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 27: Andy Dalton

No. 26: Joe Burrow

No. 25: Drew Lock

No. 24 Jared Goff

No. 23: Sam Darnold

Chris Simms top 40 QB countdown, No. 24: Jared Goff

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Jared Goff
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When thinking of NFL quarterbacks, it’s easy to overlook Jared Goff. For example, I posted something on the 23rd quarterback on the Simms top 40 countdown (Sam Darnold) without realizing I’d failed to post something on No. 24, the starting quarterback of the Rams.

The first overall pick in the 2016 draft and the recipient of a gigantic contract after only three NFL seasons, Goff regressed last year, and real questions exist as to how he’ll perform without running back Todd Gurley and receiver Brandin Cooks on the team. Given what he’s being paid ($33.5 million per year), more should be expected than what Goff has been doing, especially given a 2019 season that saw a playoff streak end at two years.

The Rams are tied to Goff, for at least three more years. They need to put enough of a team around him, however. Which brings back the question of whether teams pay too much for quarterbacks. Especially those teams whose coaches are offensive gurus, like Sean McVay, who can make chicken salad out of whatever quarterback lands in their laps.

If the Rams can’t, it won’t be easy for Goff to get much higher than No. 24 on this list.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 27: Andy Dalton

No. 26: Joe Burrow

No. 25: Drew Lock

Chris Simms top 40 QBs ranking, No. 23: Sam Darnold

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Sam Darnold
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Sam Darnold may see ghosts, but Chris Simms sees Darnold as the No. 23 quarterback in the NFL.

Darnold has landed in that spot after two NFL seasons, the second of which was marred by a bout with mono and, more generally, a supporting cast that doesn’t really give him much support.

We discussed Darnold’s strengths and weaknesses during Tuesday’s PFT Live, and the reasons for putting him in that spot, ahead of Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

And here’s the best way to compare the two: How would they fare if they changed teams?

Darnold won’t have that luxury; he has to play the hand he’s been dealt. And with low expectations, Darnold and the Jets could give everyone something more than anticipated in 2020.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 27: Andy Dalton

No. 26: Joe Burrow

No. 25: Drew Lock

No. 24: Jared Goff

The Chris Simms top 40 QBs: No. 25, Drew Lock

Chris Simms top 40 QB: Drew Lock
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He slide to round two in 2019, and he didn’t play much as a rookie due to a wrist injury. But when he played, he played very well.

Broncos quarterback Drew Lock comes in at No. 25 on Simms’ top 40 quarterback countdown.

We spent some time on Monday morning’s PFT Live talking about Lock’s performance and potential. He has a high ceiling, and he could easily be the guy the Broncos have needed since Peyton Manning retired.

For now, Lock is working his way up the list. A solid and healthy second season could get him a lot higher by 2021.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 27: Andy Dalton

No. 26: Joe Burrow

Chris Simms top 40 QB countdown, No. 26: Joe Burrow

Chris Simms top 40 QB: Joe Burrow
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He’s never taken a snap in an NFL game, but there are plenty of reasons for installing Bengals rookie Joe Burrow above plenty of guys who have gotten it done at the pro level.

Burrow, the first pick in the 2020 draft, has debuted at No. 26 on the Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown.

We discussed the placement at length on Monday’s PFT Live; the full discussion appears in the attached video. And plenty of related topics are addressed, including what it will take for Burrow to deliver on his overall promise, how things could go wrong, and whether the Bengals should have treated him as untouchable.

Next year, he likely won’t be No. 26. The question is how high he’ll go — and how quickly will he get there.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 27: Andy Dalton

The Chris Simms top 40 QB countdown, No. 27: Andy Dalton

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Andy Dalton
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The Red Rifle will wear a blue star this season, and he has landed higher than expected in the annual Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown.

Andy Dalton comes in at No. 27 on Simms’ list.

Yes, No. 27. And for good reason. Just because the team hasn’t been very good in recent years, Dalton has the skills to perform at a high level. With the right cast around him, he still can.

Most likely, Dalton won’t play this year. Dak Prescott most likely will show up before Week One, with or without a new contract, and Prescott doesn’t miss games. But the Cowboys are in good shape at the position, since they have behind Prescott a guy who, in Simms’ opinion, is better than plenty of guys who have starting jobs.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Chris Simms top 40 QBs countdown, No. 28: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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On Thursday, we paused the Chris Simms Top 40 quarterback countdown on PFT Live in order to devote the full show to the ongoing conversation regarding a moment of profound change in America. On Wednesday, we unveiled two more.

Quarterback No. 28 is a quarterback who seemingly has played for 28 teams.

Ryan Fitzpatrick actually has played for only eight teams, and he’s 12 spots higher on the list than teammate Tua Tagovailoa. In 2020, if coach Brian Flores decides that Fitzpatrick gives the Dolphins a better chance to win this year, Fitzpatrick will play some more.

And if he plays, he’ll add to a career that has seen him throw 210 touchdown passes. That’s good for No. 38 on the all-time list. More than Kurt Warner. More than Randall Cunningham. More than Phil Simms. More than Ken Anderson. More than Bobby Layne, Ken Stabler, Bob Griese, Sammy Baugh, Otto Graham, Joe Namath, Norm Van Brocklin, Troy Aikman, and Roger Staubach.

During Wednesday’s show, we had highlights of Fitzpatrick’s touchdown passes from each of his eight teams. It quickly became clear that he has thrown touchdown passes to a wide variety of players, including more than a few current and future Hall of Famers.

Here’s the full list, working from 2018 back to 2005: Preston Williams, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, Albert Wilson, Allen Hurns, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, O.J. Howard, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries, Cameron Brate, Luke Stocker, Charles Sims, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Jalin Marshall, Bilal Powell, Devin Smith, Jeremy Kerley, Chris Ivory, DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt, Damaris Johnson, Andre Johnson, Alfred Blue, Arian Foster, Ryan Griffin, Nate Washington, Chris Johnson, Taylor Thompson, Delanie Walker, Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright, Michael Preston, Scott Chandler, Donald Jones, Lee Smith, Steve Johnson, T.J. Graham, Brad Smith, C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, David Nelson, Derek Hagan, Naaman Roosevelt, David Martin, Lee Evans, Roscoe Parrish, Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Glenn Holt, Chris Henry, Kevin Curtis, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt.

More names could be added to the 58 players who have caught touchdown passes from Fitzpatrick.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

The Chris Simms top 40 QBs ranking, No. 29: Teddy Bridgewater

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Teddy Bridgewater
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Four years ago, some believed Teddy Bridgewater would enjoy a breakout season in his third year in the NFL. Then came a horrific non-contact knee injury during a late-August practice, and Bridgewater’s career was derailed. For multiple years.

He missed all of 2016 and barely played in 2017. He spent 2018 mostly on the bench in New Orleans, and then in 2019 the opportunities came. Five games, five wins.

It caught the attention of teams looking for quarterbacks, and it landed for Bridgewater the kind of contract few thought he’d ever get, from the Panthers.

He comes in at No. 29 on the Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown, a spot that would have been hard to imagine just a year ago. But it has worked out for Bridgewater, and it will be interesting to see if he can build on what he achieved last season.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

The Chris Simms top 40 QB countdown, No. 30: Gardner Minshew II

Chris Simms : Gardner Minshewtop 40 QB
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A year ago, most NFL fans wouldn’t have known the difference between Gardner Minshew and Marvin Gardens. This year, Minshew comes in at No. 30 on the Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown.

The Jaguars quarterback showed plenty as a rookie, thanks to a Week One broken collarbone suffered by Nick Foles. Minshew would start 12 games, with the Jaguars going .500 in those contests. He threw 21 touchdown passes against only six interceptions. He generated more than 3,200 yards. He did enough to get the franchise to go all-in with the sixth-round draft pick as a potential franchise quarterback.

The bar is low for Minshew and the Jaguars in 2020, which is actually a good thing. It will be easy for him and for the team to meet expectations, given that the expectations are and will be so low.

If they overachieve, Minshew will secure his future in Jacksonville — and he’ll rise in the quarterback rankings as 2021 approaches. If they fail, a housecleaning may be coming for the Jaguars.

Bet the over. The addition of offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has been one of the more overlooked moves of the offseason. The offense will improve. Minshew likely will improve. And the Jaguars, while not ready to get back to the brink of the Super Bowl, will quite possibly move in a different direction.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

No. 31: Nick Foles

The Chris Simms top 40 QBs countdown, No. 31: Nick Foles

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Nick Foles
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The Super Bowl LII MVP has had a rollercoaster career. It’s currently unclear whether 2020 will be a high or a low. He’s starting the year fairly low on the Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown.

Nick Foles, the likely Bears starter, comes in at No. 31. That’s 15 spots lower than last year, and rightfully so. Foles’ first, and only, season in Jacksonville started with a broken collarbone. Eventually he returned. Eventually he was benched for rookie Gardner Minshew II. Eventually Foles finished the year 0-4 as a starter. Eventually Foles was traded to Chicago.

He now reunites with Bears coach Matt Nagy, who was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City when Foles got a chance to play during an Alex Smith absence arising from the concussion. Foles played well, although sparingly.

Foles knows the offense, which gives him a leg up over Mitchell Trubisky. If Foles can stay healthy, maybe he can bring his career back to another zenith, making up for last year’s latest nadir.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

No. 32: Case Keenum

The Chris Simms top 40 QBs countdown No. 32: Case Keenum

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Case Keenum
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The Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown continued Monday on PFT Live, and there’s at least one backup who has made it among what should be the spots reserved for starters.

Veteran Case Keenum comes in at No. 32.

A journeyman in the truest sense, Keenum is now with his fifth team in five seasons, has joined the Browns after spending 2019 with Washington, 2018 with the Broncos, 2017 with the Vikings, and 2016 with the L.A. Rams. As cities go, it’s six in six years, given that the Rams were in St. Louis in 2015.

And the year before that, Keenum got started in Houston, for what was his third season there.

Keenum had a special season in 2017 with the Vikings, where he worked with new Browns coach Kevin Stefanski and took the Vikings to the brink of the Super Bowl. If pressed into service, Keenum has the ability to perform at a high level, giving the Browns the kind of safety net that not many teams have.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor

No. 33: Jameis Winston

The Chris Simms QB top 40 countdown, No. 33: Jameis Winston

Chris Simms top 40 QBs: Jameis Winston
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Five years after becoming the first overall pick in the draft, quarterback Jameis Winston no longer is a starter. And with 32 teams in the league, it’s no surprise he’s not among Chris Simms’ top 32 quarterbacks for 2020.

Winston just missed the cut. The NFL’s first 30-30 man came in at No. 33 on the list.

If he plays this year, he could go a lot higher, thanks to the tutelage of Saints coach Sean Payton. Last year, Teddy Bridgewater parlayed five starts into a $22 million annual deal with the Panthers.

Winston may not get the chance, if starter Drew Brees stays healthy. But if Brees gets banged up, Winston will have a chance at redemption. And that could change everything for him, like it did for Bridgewater.

More from Chris Simms top 40 QBs list:

No. 40: Tua Tagovailoa

No. 39: Dwayne Haskins

No. 38: Mitchell Trubisky

No. 37: Justin Herbert

No. 36: Taysom Hill

No. 35: Jarrett Stidham

No. 34: Tyrod Taylor