Aaron Rodgers #1 Quarterback in NFL?

STAMFORD, Conn. – June 27, 2019 – Chris Simms ranks Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers as his number one quarterback in the NFL while Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes ranks number two as Simms’ top 40 quarterback countdown concludes on a pair of NBC Sports’ platforms — the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and on “PFT Live” – this week, with the QBs ranked 1-6.

“The whole Top Ten is nitpicking,” Simms said. “These are all All-Stars and great players, but as awesome I think Mahomes is, I think that if Aaron Rodgers was on the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, that they would have won that game…These are my two favorite quarterbacks in football. It was a very tough call, but I’m still not ready to relinquish the title from Aaron Rodgers.”

Simms also unveiled his quarterbacks ranked numbers three through six this week, which include Seattle’s Russell Wilson at three, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck at four, Houston’s Deshaun Watson at five and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger at six.

Simms’ complete Top 40 QB Countdown:

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay 21. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco
2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City 22. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle 23. Josh Allen, Buffalo
4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis 24. Kyler Murray, Arizona
5. Deshaun Watson, Houston 25. Joe Flacco, Denver
6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh 26. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati
7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta 27. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay
8. Cam Newton, Carolina 28. Case Keenum, Washington
9. Tom Brady, New England 29. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee
10. Drew Brees, New Orleans 30. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore
11. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia 31. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis
12. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers 32. Josh Rosen, Miami
13. Dak Prescott, Dallas 33. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee
14. Matthew Stafford, Detroit 34. Eli Manning, New York Giants
15. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota 35. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami
16. Nick Foles, Jacksonville 36. Robert Griffin III, Baltimore
17. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland 37. Drew Lock, Denver
18. Derek Carr, Oakland 38. Dwayne Haskins, Washington
19. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams 39. Colt McCoy, Washington
20. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago 40. Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers

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

No. 6: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

Simms: “Last year was a phenomenal year for Ben Roethlisberger…He’s still one of the best down the field throwers in the sport and I put a lot into that because explosive plays are the number two stat in a football game as far as determining who wins a game. There’s turnover margin and the next thing that determines it is 20+ plus yard plays and that a lot of the time is predicated through Big Ben making big plays in the pass game…When you talk about him on the field and his ability to make game-changing plays and do special things. You go back and look at the highlights and listen, Antonio Brown isn’t as wide open as we’d all like to think and remember all the time…Sometimes you’re going to make a bonehead play or two when you’re a quarterback that has to play the way Ben Roethlisberger does, which is basically carry the offense…If we just try to keep it between the white lines and not let all those other things influence you, it’s a special career. For me, it’s a borderline Top 10 career in NFL history.”

No. 5: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Simms: “Deshaun Watson is one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL. You want to talk about super talent, I mean this guy is a superstar. He could be face of the NFL type talent…Before Patrick Mahomes, he was the new, cool, young, sexy, in vogue quarterback…The negatives to me are just nuances of the position at this point…Besides the magic that he is capable of making with his scrambling and making plays, their run game is pretty good in Houston. It’s very good because of Deshaun Watson and that’s not going to go in the statistical book…Like the Cam Newton theory, it makes defenses do things they don’t want to do. His arm, he does take care of the football, his ability to be precise on short routes, deep routes, whatever it may be, are all-around special…Would I sit here and be shocked next year if I’m going, ‘Deshaun Watson is the best quarterback in football right now or the second-best quarterback?’ No, I don’t think that’s far-fetched. I think he’s that type of talent.”

No. 4: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Simms: “Andrew Luck’s season was off the charts. Look at what happens to a player – and Andrew Luck was good already, don’t get me wrong – but when you start to give a support system around him…One of the best deep-ball throwers in the NFL. Extremely smart. He’s a pure pocket passer, but don’t forget that at 240 pounds, he ran a 4.59 coming out of the combine. He can go and we saw that a number of times last year…Accuracy, timing, it’s all top-notch. The arm is not like a big-time arm…He can throw it a far way, but he’s not throwing lasers…I do think at some point he’s going to have to correct his motion a little bit. I don’t think it’s going to last the test of time and I don’t necessarily think it’s always conducive to bad weather…Overall, the plays he makes, the clutchness he brings to the table on a week-to-week basis…I think he’s a special, special player that is definitely deserving in this Top Five…We know that games start and end for the Colts with Andrew Luck’s ability to provide for that team and the way teams gameplan for the Indianapolis Colts is all around Andrew Luck and what he does well.”

No. 3: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Simms: “A one-man band. You talk about a team or a guy that is responsible for more of the production on their football team than any other quarterback in the sport, that’s where Russell Wilson is amazing. Whenever they need a big play, it’s almost always predicated on Russell Wilson making it happen…He’s never at any point been in an offensive system that I even remotely go, ‘This is Top Five in the NFL, Top Ten in the NFL.’ I mean it’s been as basic as it can get and yet touchdowns, big plays, quarterback rating, all of those are always towards the top of the list and he’s winning football games…He’s in the prime of his career and I think Seattle has turned over their team enough that they can make a little mini run here and they can be a playoff team year after year after year again.”

No. 2: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Simms: “I’m not ready to call him better than Aaron Rodgers quite yet. I think the talent on the field, it’s certainly comparable. The arm, the ability to move, scramble, all of those things are so special by both of these guys and Mahomes is unbelievable…With all that being said, it was very equal. I went back and forth and at first I did write Mahomes at number one…Really what it came down to as far as the tie-breaker between these guys – because it’s really like 1A and 1B to me – is the experience factor at this time is where I give Aaron Rodgers the advantage in a race that’s this close…We saw the inexperience hurt him a little bit in games where teams did some different things…But I just can’t say enough about the player and what we saw last year. It was a special, special season. It was 1984 Dan Marino-ish the way he did things last year. I’ve never seen a guy come into the league their first year as a starting quarterback and really take over the league and take over everything about it by storm with just phenomenal plays…Mahomes has the talent and the demeanor to really challenge the all-time greats and be the greatest quarterback of all-time or be in that conversation. He certainly has the talent to do that.”

No. 1: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Simms: “I still think he’s the best quarterback in football when you take everything into account. We can’t take into account the team around him and the offensive coordinator and things like that. I’m just evaluating what I see from Aaron Rodgers and yes, there were some ugly moments last year, definitely, but you could’ve put Superman back there at quarterback and there would have been some ugly moments. The team was overmatched…More is on his shoulders up in Green Bay than any quarterback in football as far as just carrying the team. Last year, was it the best year of his career? No, it certainly was not and I’m not totally giving him the free pass there. There were moments where I know he could have played better, but ultimately the team failed him a lot more than he failed them…I still think Aaron Rodgers plays the position and is the best quarterback in football, it’s not by a lot, he’s squeaking this one out, but I still think he’s the best…The movement, the speed, it’s still really good…The arm is still at an all-time great level. Like I say with Tom Brady, his arm is never going to fail him. When he’s 65 he’s still going to be able to throw lasers all over the place…Yes, he does get hurt. But when you have to play the position the way Aaron Rodgers does, which is you kind of have to play the game close to the edge and push the envelope if Green Bay wants to win games…He’s had to carry the team to where it puts his body in some compromising situations.”

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

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