The free-agent market has dried up, and the draft is well in the rear-view mirror. We’ve finally reached the slowest point of the NFL season, which means that news is at a premium.
Around this time, we start to hear different outlets and talking heads make predictions or even lists to start conversation and pass the time until we finally reach the regular season.
Chris Simms, an NFL analyst for NBC Sports, decided to put together his list of the NFL’s top-40 quarterbacks. It didn’t take long for the Miami Dolphins to be mentioned on his list, labeling Tua Tagovailoa as the NFL’s 40th-ranked quarterback.
4⃣0⃣ Tua Tagovailoa— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) May 26, 2020
Talent is certainly there in a lot of areas. Definitely a leader that guys gravitate to. We all know the injury Qs. Will also see how he does when he doesn't have all the best players on the field with him like he did at Alabama #SimmsTop40QB
When you ignore those giant 4 and 0 emojis, the tweet actually said some good things about Miami’s first-round pick, mentioning his leadership and talent. Even being ranked 40, without stepping into a practice facility, isn’t horrible.
It is also important to keep in mind that there could worse talent at the skill positions for a rookie quarterback to deal with.
The next two players on his list were Dwyane Haskins and Mitchell Trubisky. These two players being in front of Tagovailoa makes sense, seeing how they actually played snaps in the NFL. While Haskins may not have had the best rookie season, he showed something at the NFL level and Trubisky was a double-doink away from a deep playoff run. No matter how much he has regressed, he too has been in the NFL longer than Tagovailoa and has showed something.
While I don’t necessarily agree with the order, I was starting to understand where Simms was going with this list— until I didn’t.
3️⃣7️⃣ Justin Herbert— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) May 27, 2020
Ceiling could be higher than Joe Burrow. Big-time arm is just a tier below Mahomes-Rodgers. Can throw with touch too. Battle-tested in college & handled the spotlight at Senior Bowl & Combine. But needs to throw with body more rather than just arm.
3️⃣6️⃣Taysom Hill— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) May 27, 2020
Clearly this is a lot of projection based on big-time potential. 15 career passes, 0 TD...I get it. I need to see more reps. But he has a legit arm, and preseason shows his growth as a passer. There’s a reason Sean Payton sees him as a future starter.
3⃣5⃣ Jarrett Stidham— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) May 28, 2020
We obviously haven't seen a lot, but Stidham reminds me of Tony Romo. Superb movement within the pocket. Doesn't have an arm like Brady (not many do) but quick release, real accurate, real smart.#SimmsTop40QB
Things quickly fall off the rails as the argument of never playing a snap in the NFL isn’t a sound argument. Justin Herbert was listed ahead of Tagovailoa, who won a national championship. At 35, ahead of both Herbert and Tagovailoa, is Jarrett Stidham, who has thrown just four passes in his NFL career.
While Stidham has completed two passes, which is more than we can say about Herbet and Tagovailoa, he also has two incompletions, including a pick-six against the New York Jets.
These lists can be fun, and Simms did say some interesting things about Miami’s rookie quarterback, but it is important to not get caught up in these lists. They are almost always created to stir the pot and create some offseason drama among fans.