Chris Simms: Baker Mayfield Is 15th-Best QB

May 30th, 2024

This should be yet another one of those chips Pro Bowl Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield likes to put on his shoulder.

He’s been labeled an average starting quarterback by former Bucs QB Chris Simms, who is now a stellar analyst for NBC Sports.

Simms is in the midst of his annual top-40 quarterback rankings (Kyle Trask didn’t make the cut) and got to Mayfield today. Tampa Bay’s starter checked in at No. 15.

Simms, like Joe, is impressed by how 2023 Mayfield was better than 2022 Tom Brady. That’s a signficant accomplishment, Simms emphasized. “He replaced The Goat and said, ‘I’ll one-up you.'”

Stellar leadership and throwing in big moments, those are major positives or Mayfield, per Simms. Negatives are locking in on the first receiving option too much and being a below average mover and runner in the modern game.

As Joe detailed, Mayfield’s first Bucs season was nothing odd for him. But can he show consistency by doing it in back-to-back seasons?

Here are Mayfield’s 2020 stats in Cleveland:

222.7 yards per game 
7.3 yards per attempt
62.8 percent completion rate
1 pick every 60.7 throws
1.6 TD passes per game
1.6 sacks per game
Browns ranked 28th in pass attempts per game

Mayfield was nearly identical in 2023, including another great postseason with 6 touchdowns and 2 picks.

237.9 yards per game 
7.1 yards per attempt
64.3 percent completion rate
1 pick every 56.6 throws
1.6 TD passes per game
2.36 sacks per game
Bucs ranked 19th in pass attempts per game

Simms ranked Mayfield just ahead of Kyler Murray (No. 16) and Brock Purdy (No. 17).

69 Responses to “Chris Simms: Baker Mayfield Is 15th-Best QB”

  1. Marine Buc Says:

    Sounds about right to me…

    Baker is NOT an “elite” NFL QB but he is NOT a bad or below average QB either.

    We won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson – we can win a Super Bowl with Baker Mayfield.

    If the Bucs have a top 5 defense, a top 5 running game, a top 10 O-line and excellent special teams we can win another one.

  2. Matt_PcAfee Says:

    That’s fair

  3. Dude Says:

    Middle of the pack might be as good as it gets with Mayfield to be 100% honest, chips on shoulders don’t put points on the board.

  4. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Would like to see the list but I think somewhere in the top 10-16 is fair. There are a lot of good QB’s in todays NFL

  5. HC Grover Says:

    We in the middle of the road.

  6. Red Skeleton Says:

    People are hard on Brad Johnson. He was a good quarterback who was forced to play game manager. He threw a lot of balls away vs taking a sack. People always said he couldn’t throw the deep ball yet he did it in Minnesota and Washington. He came to Tampa and never had time to throw a deep ball. This unfairly labeled him as a game manager. We won the Superbowl with the best defense ever and his ability to make the offense work in spite of constant pressure. Back to Baker, He deserved his chance for another 2 year trial. But let’s be real, if half of his dropped interceptions were pulled in we do not make the playoffs. But I am rooting for another year that he plays at least average.

  7. Bobby M. Says:

    Baker is a stockier version of Jeff Garcia…..with the right OC, he can be very effective. I believe he’s got a tad more upside with the new OC. Canales play calling was to predictable at times and took forever to get going…particularly in the 1st qtr.

  8. zzbucs Says:

    Hard for me to digest such a stupid comment… Why 15?….explain me why is not 13 or 19?
    So subjective…..

    Just pathetic…..

    Experts or journalists have nothing to say and just say stupid things….
    I understand NFL, is an ongoing busines, but ranking QB on a preseason, when you will hace at least 5/6 new QB is just stupidity……

  9. Booger Says:

    I think this season will have a lot to say about where Ol’ Bake truly stands among the top QB’s in the game today. He has a legit shot at moving ‘up’ the latter from 15. Everything is there that should help him succeed. That’s why I’ve said this season all rests on Baker’s shoulders. The Bucs will go as far as Baker can take ‘em. If they all click with Cohen (etc), then I don’t see why he couldn’t be in that next conversation outside of the top 5 or 6 super ‘elite’ guys. If not, then he’s going to fall back outside of the Top-20 again… There is a very fine line, with a very small margin of error. It’s definitely gonna be a lot of fun to watch.

  10. westernbuc Says:

    If he replicated this next year he’ll be a top-ten guy

  11. Mike Johnson Says:

    I actually had Baker at 13. But if he plays as good as we think he will this season, he should easily mov up somewhere between 10-12.

  12. Ben Says:

    He has not proven to be a consistently good QB and therefore believe this is a fair ranking. I hope he climbs into the top 10 with more consistency and being in a stable system to grow offensively. Should help Baker’s numbers.

  13. Koala Says:

    The problem with these rankings now is people still remember the NFL from 10-15 years ago, when there were maybe 3-4 really good QBs and then the rest were comparatively awful, so the 15th spot would be equated with garbage QB play.

    Now we live in a kind of “Golden Age” of QB’ing. Looking at the people above him, none of them are bad QBs. A lot of these lists have Aaron Rodgers around 10 and it’s not a crazy place to put him.

  14. Beeej Says:

    10-15 overall is reasonable, by the end of the season he was top ten

  15. allen lofton Says:

    Ranked 15th is quite good considering Baker was handicapped by Canales consistently calling running plays up the middle.

    I’ll be interesting to see if Coen deversifying running plays improves Bakers quarterback ranking.

  16. Hodad Says:

    Lamar Jackson has been an MVP QB twice, but Trent Dilfer has more S.B. rings. You don’t have to be the best QB in the league to lead your team to a SB win. Baker is plenty good enough.

  17. Cobraboy Says:


    So what?

  18. geno711 Says:

    Simms one of the better QB rankers.

  19. bucsince79 aka bumaneer Says:

    He got hot after mid season. He did wins some clutch games as well… Best QB in the NFC South…

  20. Boomer Says:

    I’ll take Baker (an above average qb) with an improved offensive line. I’m not sure how you can evaluate qbs given their success is dependent on a run game, offensive line, their wide receivers and the Play Calling!!
    Hard to succeed when it’s run up the middle for no gain, run up the middle for 1 yard and live with 3rd and long all day.

    It’s a team sport and I forget who said – you’re only as good as the last 5 guys to make the roster – cause injuries are bound to stack up.

    I think we’ll see some damn good football this year.

  21. Bucben61 Says:

    All this negativity… something magical is happening in Tampa…jump on and enjoy the ride

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    Absolutely a fair ranking.

  23. Travis Says:

    We got him at 30M a year though. Nobody else seems to be able to pull that off guys like Cousins and Tua with zero playoff wins are getting 45-50M.

  24. If any Says:

    Highest passer rating, 106.3, by ANY & ALL Bucs quarterbacks in postseason history. Now that is elite!!!☺️

  25. Saskbucs Says:

    20 is insulting, 15 is close. As others have said we have a top half of the league QB and can absolutely win a SB with Baker and the cap hit he carries. Allows Licht to build deep lines and spend on weapons. I would rank him between 11-15.

  26. Dave Pear Says:

    Meh, ya, whatever. O’saintsfan has him right below JaMiss and Josh Johnson.

    Simms might be affected by the inability to process Gruden’s offense. Ironically, his best NFL moments were in 2005. He never approaches that again. Simply put, he sucked.

    Baker will crack the Top 10 in 2024. Better than 2023 Baker.

  27. SlyPirate Says:

    I think Tiers are better than rankings. It would look something like this …
    Tier 1: Mahomes, Lamar, Allen
    Tier 2: Stroud, Burrow, Herbert
    Tier 3: Goff, Baker, Love

  28. J Says:

    @Dude… chips on shoulders lead to Superbowls.

  29. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Red Skeleton

    I agree.

    Just to clarify – I meant no disrespect to Brad Johnson.

    After watching Trent Dilfer’s antics for 6 seasons I was very pleased to have BJ at QB.

    However – Brad was not throwing to Randy Moss and Chris Carter and even a mediocre performance was enough to help us win a Super Bowl with the amazing defense we had.

    That’s all I was trying to say.

  30. Dude Says:

    Goff was literally a top 10 QB
    And Jordan Love got ranked 12 by PFF
    Mayfield was tied 19th in PFF with Derek Carr, but tiers are cool

  31. matmartin Says:

    Man, the commenters here are lucky Joe didn’t share where Mina Kimes and Nate Tice ranked Baker (24th LOL).

    That would have gotten some angry reactions.

  32. SenileSenior Says:

    What Marinebuc said.

    We don’t necessarily need a GOAT to participate in a Super Bowl. Baker is more talented than “the bull” was, however.

    Go Bucs!!!

  33. Ed Says:

    What chip on his shoulder? He is a pro quaterback he will win or be a after contract quaterback.

  34. Gipper Says:

    Totally absurd ranking given complete lack of running game, poor pass blocking, and an OC who insisted on putting Baker in endless 3rd and long situations where everyone knew that 3rd and long was a pass play. With an improved O line and a more sensible play caller, Baker will finish 2024 in the top 6 of NFL QB’s. Baker back half of career will look identical to Drew Brees.

  35. LouisFriend Says:

    Is ‘chip on his shoulder’ code for – he doesn’t like not being ranked 1st? Oh well. Talented enough to be 15th best is pretty good by Bucs standards.

  36. Buchen61 Says:

    Gipper I envision a very similar out look for Baker…what he went thru in Cleveland and how he endured a trade to the Panthers but bounced back with the Rams (a team devasted my injuries at all major positions) will some day be the Hallmark movie of the week. Don’t listen to the national media….this kid is special and he was gifted to us… Tampa’s best days lie directly ahead….go Bucs!!!

  37. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs have upgraded positions on OLine, RB and WR- and possibly offensive coordinator- alot of reasons to believe Mayfield will have his best season.

  38. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I just want the Bucs to win games, if Mayfield can improve upon last year, he’ll help them accomplish that.

  39. BigMacAttack Says:

    Chris Simms was a terrible QB. He never did anything good for the Bucs.

  40. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    If you take into consideration Mayfield wasn’t really helped at all by a run game last year. That allowed defenses to pretty much just focus on the passing game. It wasn’t like defenses were stuffing the box last year either. Defenses were able to keep a safety deep. Nobody was worried about this team running on them. And they still couldn’t get a run game going. Almost zero complimentary football last year.

  41. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Remember Simms losing his spleen after a devastating hit?! Ouch dude.

  42. Marky Mark Says:

    I think what Simms is missing is Baker elevates under the pressure of the playoffs wheras higher rated QBs such as Lamar or Allen crumble.

  43. Shane Callahan Says:

    Baker could be the best in the league with the right team and coaches around him, or he could be middle of the pack with a mediocre team and coaches around him. This is silly.

  44. ScottyMack Says:

    Fair assessment based upon a very limited set of data (one year with the Bucs).

    People who hate Mayfield refuse to admit that NO QUARTERBACK would be very successful if he had a new offensive coordinator and/or head coach every single year of his career, not even Patrick Mahomes who has had the same IC and HC his entire career.

    Unfortunately, yet again, Mayfield begins another season in 2024 with a new offensive coordinator.

  45. Bucfan1988 Says:

    I’m cool with the ranking……

    He was Captain Average in my book most of last year….
    Average would be 16 …..

    He played a little better than average the last few weeks and the Eagles playoff game.

    If we can run the ball better I can see Mayfield maybe getting up to 12 or so….
    Still see him out of the Top 10 Qbs

    Honestly, that doesn’t even matter. If our defense comes to play this season, and Baker can Go to his reads and stay away from the interceptions stay away from the interceptions, We could really make a run this year.

  46. Ol' Boy Says:

    Kyler Murray sucks. So theres that…

  47. Zoocomics Says:

    Fair assessment. Without racking and stacking 32 QBs, it’s the number I would have arbitrarily gave to Baker, because it’s right in the middle. I have not forgotten that mid-season skid after the surprising hot start. I don’t recall watching that game and seeing him ball out during that skid, whereas the rest of the team let him down. This guy manages just a few good games, and he’s got a $30M contract, ok.

    I’m rooting for Baker, he is a Buc, and I want him to live up to the contract he landed. What I don’t care about is that his friends with players, they love him, he’s just a dude, which people love his down to earth kind of guy mentality. It’s a great story when you’re winning. Jameis was a great locker room guy as well, rah rah type. But I would not be surprised if he’s the same guy we’ve seen throughout his entire career, which is middle of the road. What I don’t know about the type of player he is, is whether we’re in the playoffs again, on a game winning/tying drive against Detroit again, that he doesn’t throw another pick with zero pressure on him. That’s the difference.

    Out of all the games we’re playing this year, the one game that will tell me if we’re moving the needle, finally, is if Baker and Coen can figure out how to score points against the 49ers. I think the way we match up against the Lions, it’s any given Sunday. Chiefs and Ravens have thumped us pretty good, but we’ve had good halves against them.

    The 49ers have completely dominated us the last 3 times we’ve played them. I think every game we’ve come away with a serious injury. The one team that seems to do so much with, so little are the Rams. They somehow manage to split games against 49ers almost every season. I hope Coen brings that to us and we can make a game of it this season against them.

  48. Dude Says:

    ^^^Agree with everything Zoocomics said, well articulated and steeped in reality.

  49. JustVisiting Says:

    This seems reasonable, based on his performance to date, but I suspect he’s actually going to improve this season.

  50. Rod Munch Says:

    18th QBR, 20th in scoring, LAST in scoring and yards QBs that started all 17 games.

    I think 20th, in an NFL that has some very weak QB play, is more like it.

    Hopefully Simms is right at the end of the year, he does know QBs generally, but for whatever reason he always disliked Brady and has always praised Baker. Makes no sense, but everyone has their type I guess.

  51. Larrd Says:

    Mayfield does look slow but he made a bunch of great runs last year. Murray and Purdy aren’t bad company.

  52. Rod Munch Says:

    Larrd – He doesn’t look slow, he is literally slow. He’d have a big hole open in front of him and you’d think, wow, he’s going to pick up at least 10 yards, and then he’d literally get chased and dragged down at the LOS. I don’t get it as his college 40 time wasn’t bad at all. He made a couple of OK runs, but they’re runs any other QB would make – not sure why people thought they were amazing. Like the run in Minnesota, people acted like it was Winston vs Atlanta powering to get the 1st down. Now that Winston run, where he ran guys over, that was great. Mayfield just barely got a 1st down when he had a huge lead and a great angle,and still almost got chased down.

  53. Oneilbuc Says:

    Gipper. So Baker is Drew Brees now? Man this is what I be talking about Baker Mayfield will never have a career like Drew Brees. Baker Mayfield is a game manger and that’s not a bad thing but y’all be acting like Baker Mayfield is Payton Manning or Mahomes. Lol 🤣

  54. Oneilbuc Says:

    Buc61. Baker was bad with the Rams he had 1 good game and then we lost his job with the Panthers to Sam Donald and he had to be gifted the starting job here because Trask out played him in training camp.

  55. What it is Says:

    You people are so full of it. You wouldn’t know the truth if it walked up and slapped you in the face. There is no point in correcting you anymore, we will just sit back and see who is right this fall.

  56. What it is Says:

    One thing Munch and onei, statistics lie and liars use statistics…

  57. Oneilbuc Says:

    What it is. I just call like I see it there is no reason to lie about a freaking football game or player . The truth is the truth I will ask you this is this Baker Mayfield 4th team in 6 years? Yes . Where there any other team that wanted Baker as their staring quarterback other than the bucs ? No . That’s why he was the bucs was able to bring him back at that price. No other team was going to pay Baker Mayfield that kind of money. Has Baker ever played in the AFC or NFC championship no . I’m sorry I’m not the kind of guy that everyone gets a trophy. And I don’t believe that you can play bad for 3 quarters and 12 minutes in a game and then defense gives up the short passes and Baker pad his stats and we still lose and say he had a good game . That’s what you guys say when he plays like that and then you blame the defense or the OC or the running game. So it ain’t no point in corrected blind bucs fans !! When Baker Mayfield played good I gave him his credit. But when he plays bad I will acknowledge it just like I did when he played good. So it sounds like to me you are the lier not me . Because you believe he’s played good every game and when he didn’t it wasn’t his fault it was everyone else fault. And by the way I don’t think you’re even a real bucs fan I’ve never seen you on here before!!

  58. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Ha ha figured fangirls would get their panties in a bunch over this ranking. Always seeing Baker greater than he really is. Now someone says he’s special??? You bumped your head fool! He barely out performed the GOAT who clearly wasn’t the same after his wife cheated on him. He’s slightly better than good but not great because he’s not consistently good. If only he could play well all game every game then he could be special, but he plays scared so that won’t happen

  59. What it is Says:

    Ol’ BIGBUCK, at least you admit he played better than the GOAT!! lmao

  60. What it is Says:

    Onei, that’s why there is no point in debating you, you actually think if you have never seen someone post here then they automatically can’t be a Bucs fan. No one can win with someone with that thinks like that.

  61. What it is Says:

    Again onei no one ever said Baker never has a bad game. That would be delusional. That’s your department.

  62. Bucblind Says:

    Oneii, on the last point, you said Baker has never went to a superbowl. Well I wonder why. Can you give an example of ANY qb that went to the worst team in the league and took them to a superbowl in the first 3 years? No you can’t. But you act like Bakers a bad qb because he’s never done it. Think about it buddy…

  63. Oneilbuc Says:

    Bucblind. Yes Joe Burrow did and Cleveland had a good defense with good receivers and 2 good runningbacks when Baker Mayfield was there. Not to mention we already know that they paid the HC extra money to lose so can get the number one overall pick. He actually won the law suit against the Cleveland Browns because they fired him. Baker had the best o line in the NFL that year. And to say some one is not a real bucs fan because they tell the full truth about the team is just crazy. Again to win with Baker Mayfield they must limit him throwing the ball 25 to 32 times a game and the bucs will get to the NFC championship. It’s NFC championship or bust no excuses!!

  64. Bucblind Says:

    You should go apply as a game planner I guess

  65. Bucblind Says:

    And as I thought Burrows Cincinnati Bengales weren’t as bad as the Browns, not near as bad but I expected that.

  66. Bucblind Says:

    Again Burrows has never played in a superbowl, but Baker should have. You can’t make this stuff up!!!

  67. Bucblind Says:

    Bengals 16-33 vs Browns 4-44.

  68. Bucblind Says:

    Anyone could see there IS a difference, but not you boys. Baker should have taken that team to a superbowl even though no other qb has ever done it. You can’t win with that mentality

  69. Bucblind Says:

    And I’m crazy for engaging in this conversation. In the fall…