We’re in the summer of the NFL’s offseason, which means that you’ll get multiple positional rankings from pundits all over. There aren’t any rankings out there that get people more fired up than quarterbacks, so let’s start there.
Whose QB rankings will we use? None other than Kyle Shanahan’s matching tattooed friend Chris Simms, who has the 49ers No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance, listed at No. 38 overall.
For reference, the two quarterbacks selected ahead of Lance, Trevor Lawrence, and Zach Wilson ranked No. 27 and No. 28. Simms was higher on both during the pre-draft process, but ten spots towards the bottom half seem like a bit much.
Lance was one spot in front of Justin Fields and one spot behind Kellen Mond, who likely won’t see the field in 2021. Nevertheless, Simms is sticking to his guns.
Here’s some of Simms’ commentary on Lance:
“But still, the motion can get very long and independent from the body, at times. Trey Lance, he can have some throws where you go, ‘That’s amazing on the run. That’s great.’ And then you have other games where you go, ‘I don’t know how you miss it, and miss it this bad, and miss it this many times.’”
“To me, it’s going to be on Jimmy G and how he plays. Shanahan is going to get Trey Lance ready to go, and if he’s got to play him, he’ll find ways to make it good for him and make it work. I don’t doubt Shanahan.”
Simms is all about looks and what “he” knows. That’s how it comes off, anyway.
In 2018, Simms had Jimmy Garoppolo ranked No. 15. Heading into ‘19, Simms had Jimmy G at No. 21 after missing the previous season with an ACL injury. A Super Bowl run didn’t change Simms’ opinion about Garoppolo, as he still had the 49ers signal-caller No. 20.
After another season where he missed double-digit games, it was tough to get a feel for Jimmy’s progression as a player — which is likely why Simms as Garoppolo at No. 21 in his latest QB rankings:
“Availability is an issue. Let’s just start right there. It’s the first thing you have to think about. It’s why the 49ers drafted a quarterback in the first round. Jimmy G does a lot of good things. I don’t want to totally crap on him here. It’s not about that, OK? Because there are a lot of good things.
Even when he’s healthy, and yes, they win and all that, they’ve sent you the signals. ‘Yeah, we’re winning. We don’t think he’s playing well enough, still.’ They’ve been telling us for two years, everything. Just listen to John Lynch or Kyle Shanahan, let alone all the things we know about trying to trade (for a quarterback) or get Tom Brady or Matthew Stafford, blah, blah, blah.
He is good in the pocket, and with people around, he can kind of get his feet awkward and just flick it, and do things like that, and get the ball out of his hands really quick. So I love that aspect of him. But is he going to make plays out of the realm of the offense a whole lot? Absolutely not.”
Simms doesn’t say anything that we already didn’t know, but the playmaking aspect is a good topic of discussion.
Rob Lowder and I discussed below to start the podcast a few “what if” scenarios surrounding the 49ers QB position. What if San Francisco is 5-3 or just above .500, and Garoppolo’s play is middling? To the point where the playmaking isn’t there, and the offense is just “getting by.”
Will that be enough to see Lance, or will it take Jimmy G playing much worse? Please take a listen below as we talk through quarterbacks and OTAs this week.