LOCALS IN THE NFL

NBC Sports’ Chris Simms Ranks Pair Of Locals In Top 40 QB Countdown

May 23, 2023, 2:47 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Former NFL signal-caller and current NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms ranked a pair of local players in his annual Top 40 QB Countdown.

Simms, a former quarterback that played in the league from 2003-10, is currently in the process of revealing his top 40 quarterbacks ahead of the 2023 NFL season.

The former Texas star is unveiling his list of top NFL signal-callers on his NFL on NBC podcast, “Chris Simms Unbuttoned.”

As of May 22, Simms had released QBs 25-40 on his list.

During his countdown, Simms named a pair of local quarterbacks to his list for the upcoming season, former Utah State star Jordan Love and Utah product Tyler Huntley.

Chris Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown

25. Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh Steelers

26. Brock Purdy – San Francisco 49ers

27. Sam Darnold – San Francisco 49ers

28. Andy Dalton – Carolina Panthers

29. Tyler Huntley – Baltimore Ravens

30. Davis Mills – Houston Texans

31. Jordan Love – Green Bay Packers

32. Jarett Stidham – Denver Broncos

33. Taylor Heinicke – Atlanta Falcons

34. Gardner Minshew – Indianapolis Colts

35. Mike White – Miami Dolphins

36. Anthony Richardson – Indianapolis Colts

37. C.J. Stroud – Houston Texans

38. Bryce Young – Carolina Panthers

39. Sam Howell – Washington Commanders

40. Desmond Ritter – Atlanta Falcons

Locals on Chris Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown

31. Jordan Love – Green Bay Packers (Utah State Aggies)

This offseason is Love’s first appearance on Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown. Since he was drafted by the Packers during the first round of the NFL Draft in 2020, Love has been Aaron Rodgers’ backup in Green Bay. With Rodgers’ getting traded to the New York Jets in April, Love is in line to be QB1 for the Packers in 2023.

“I’m a believer in his ability,” Simms said of Love. “His arm is special…it’s really damn good. Like when Jordan Love gets all of it and rips it, it moves through the air.”

Simms went on to state that Love has taken the time to watch Rodgers the past few seasons and improve the basics of the quarterback position.

“He’s improved his mechanics. He’s comfortable in the offense. He’s a good athlete. He’s got very good size to see up over the line or throw through lanes,” Simms continued. “I’m thinking Jordan Love’s gonna open up some eyes this year.”

RELATED: Packers QB Jordan Love Expresses Gratitude For Time With Aaron Rodgers

The PFT Live co-host believes that Love is going to surprise some people with his play this fall.

“I think Jordan Love’s gonna show some people this year. I think the Packers are gonna be revived because of Jordan Love, no Aaron Rodgers, some voices in the locker room,” Simms added. “I think that energy is gonna motivate this football team.”

Simms added that he thinks Green Bay could be more lethal with Love at quarterback than the Packers have been in recent seasons.

“There’s some aspects where I go, ‘They could be, maybe, even a little more dangerous than we realize with Jordan Love at quarterback,'” Simms finished his comments.

After sitting out every game of his rookie season, Love’s first action came in the 2021 season. He played in six games that year and started his first NFL contest. Last season, Love saw less action but played in four games. During his three seasons in the league, the former USU signal-caller has thrown for 606 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions with a completion rate of 60.2 percent. He’s played in 10 games. Love’s also run the ball 13 times for a total of 26 yards.

The Packers will start their regular season slate of games on the road against the Chicago Bears on September 10.

29. Tyler Huntley – Baltimore Ravens (Utah Utes)

Huntley was ranked No. 34 in Simms’ Top 40 QB Countdown before the 2022 season. This offseason, the former NFL quarterback moved Huntley up to No. 29 in his QB rankings.

“Tyler Huntley’s damn good, I mean damn good,” Simms said of the former Utah standout. “When you talk about Tyler Huntley, you know, yeah he’s a fringe starting quarterback. He’s got, first off, a sneaky explosive arm…he controls the ball and the ball pops off his hand in power-type throws.”

Simms spoke about Huntley’s ability to lead the Ravens in his limited opportunities the past two seasons despite some struggles around him.

RELATED: Ravens QB Tyler Huntley Plans To Sign Restricted Tender

“We know his athletic ability is the real deal, it is,” Simms added. “He’s a pretty good decision maker too…He does know how to run the offense. He’s a very good athlete…He’s a runner that doesn’t look to run first. He wants to throw.”

The analyst believes that while Huntley is a backup in Baltimore, he’s a top-30 quarterback in a league of 32 franchises.

After going undrafted out of Utah in 2020, Huntley joined the Ravens as a backup to former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

Huntley has played in games in each of the past three seasons, including multiple starts. Last season, the former Utah star was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate. During his three years in the NFL, Huntley has played in 15 games. He’s thrown for 1,754 yards, five touchdowns, and seven interceptions with a 65.6 percent completion rate. Huntley’s also carried the ball 100 times for 454 yards and three touchdowns.

The Ravens begin their regular season schedule at home against the Houston Texans on September 10.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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NBC Sports’ Chris Simms Ranks Pair Of Locals In Top 40 QB Countdown