Chris Simms’ 2022 NFL Draft QB Rankings: Why Matt Corral stands out from the pack

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The 2022 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and there are five quarterback prospects that are in a league of their own. 

Chris Simms unveiled his 2022 NFL Draft QB rankings earlier this week on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and had his fair share to say about this year’s crop of signal-callers, listing Mississippi QB Matt Corral as the top quarterback prospect in this class.

However, Corral’s No. 1 ranking does not discount the rest of the class, which is chock full of talent.

RELATED: Read Peter King’s post-combine analysis and notes

Along with Corral, Simms ranked Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett at No. 2 , Liberty’s Malik Willis at No. 3, North Carolina’s Sam Howell at No. 4 and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder at No. 5.

The 2022 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 28, and end on Saturday, April 30. The first round will take place on Thursday with rounds two and three airing on Friday. Here’s a breakdown of the full first-round draft order.

A LOOK AT THE CLASS AS A WHOLE

“There’s questions about this class, and I understand that,” Simms said of this year’s quarterback prospects. “Maybe the high-end talent isn’t as talented as we’ve seen in year’s past, and there’s certainly not the depth that we’ve seen in years past. For me and my money, after the top five or six, it really falls off. Like really falls off…It’s an underwhelming class.”

Simms’ Top Five QB prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft

1. Matt Corral, Mississippi
2. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
3. Malik Willis, Liberty
4. Sam Howell, North Carolina
5. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

The following are highlights from Simms’ QB draft rankings. For Simms’ in-depth analysis, read below for a breakdown on each prospect and be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for an unfiltered look at the NFL, featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown, and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: When is the 2022 NFL Draft: Dates, schedule, TV channel, start time, Round 1 draft order

No. 1: Matt Corral, Mississippi

“Here’s the basics: insane athlete. He’s the quickest quarterback in the draft. There’s nobody with quicker feet, can make people miss, great acceleration, can pop his feet to get back into throwing positions…nobody can do that as quick as Matt Corral…It’s as quick a release as I’ve seen coming out of college football in a few years. It’s almost to the point at times where I go, ‘Man, I wish he’d let his arm go a little bit more.’ … It literally looked like he just took it from his ear and just threw it like a dart, that’s how quick and compact the delivery is…The arm strength is phenomenal. The ball absolutely flies out of Matt Corral’s hand. To me, he’s made for the modern-day NFL…This guy can run. He’s the fastest quarterback in this group…He’s the most accurate thrower in the draft, too. I don’t know what his numbers are, I don’t really care. I know when he sees a target, he can put the ball on the money in the tightest windows out of anybody in this draft…There’s a lot of elite traits with Matt Corral…The one thing is he’s got to put it all together. It’s not all together yet. I wish we did see a little bit more of, ‘Let’s go through reads.’ … There’s some parts of his game that I think are next-level elite.”

RELATED: EDGE 2022 2022 NFL Scouting Combine – Krueger’s Post-Combine Mock Draft

No. 2: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

What Simms Said: “Really good football player. The most ready right now of all the quarterbacks. The safest pick of the NFL quarterbacks in this draft. He is what he is. You know what you’re getting with Kenny Pickett. You’re getting the guy that can play the position truest to form out of this group of quarterbacks in this draft class. The most NFL-ready from understanding protections to reading the field to processing the information pre-snap, post-snap, going through the reads. Incredibly accurate thrower, especially in the intermediate range…Good size, plays pretty big too…Awesome in the pocket. I mean really, like awesome. He’s a good athlete, he’s twitchy, he can make people miss, there’s good pop in his feet. So, he can make people miss in the pocket that way, but also, he has a great natural feel of where the pocket is…He’s almost always in great position to throw the football, so that’s where he’s really good. He can run and rip off a 10-yard gain. There’s all those aspects to like about him…But I don’t say, ‘Wow’ about anything with Kenny Pickett physically…I don’t know if I necessarily see any trait that is real, real elite other than the fact that the guy can play quarterback and he is the most polished and ready to go of any quarterback in this draft class.”

No. 3: Malik Willis, Liberty

What Simms Said: “It’s a special arm, no question. He can make every throw on the football field with ease. As a thrower, he keeps his body in the right positions, understands how to use the front shoulder…His motion is nice. His ability to throw deep balls, balls on the outside that are power throws, they’re effortless. He is a gifted runner…he can accelerate pretty good, and he’s got an incredible pair of legs on him. He understands how to set up blockers like a running back…there are true running back traits there. He breaks a ton of tackles, bounces off people, he has very good quickness and ability to make people miss in the space. …All of these [quarterbacks], I don’t know if they’re really worthy top 10 picks. He’s a naturally more gifted runner than (Trey) Lance. His throwing motion is tight…he’s got the second-quickest release out of all of these quarterbacks. To me, there’s a lot of projection here…You don’t get to see a ton of variety of throws, you don’t get to see a reading of the field. He’s physically more gifted than (Sam Howell and Desmond Ridder). He throws a very catchable ball, he is accurate, all in all…The arm is real.”

No. 4: Sam Howell, North Carolina

What Simms Said: “Good in the pocket. There’s a toughness and grittiness to his game that shows in the film. He’s willing to stand in there, take shots. Not the fastest guy in the world, but he is mobile, and he’s got a great pair of legs on him that allows him to break a lot of tackles, make people miss within the pocket…I like that aspect about him. He’s one of the few guys in this draft that I look at that can really go across the field and read defenses…He does have the ability to throw the ball with some different platforms, and he does have a good hand. He’s got some mechanical issues…I don’t like his motion. It’s way too over the top…That does compromise power and accuracy of the ball. But he’s got experience, his arm is good, he had the strongest arm at the Combine in terms of miles per hour. He plays like Baker Mayfield…He’s gritty…He doesn’t have the arm Mayfield does, but I do think his movement and athleticism will translate better in the NFL because he’s a bigger human. There’s potential for him to be a better thrower. I don’t see first-round talent.”

No. 5: Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

What Simms Said: “He’s got a great personality, acts like a quarterback. I think he’s a guy who’s going to continue to grow into his body. Size is his skill…He can throw over the line of scrimmage, he can throw over people when they’re in his face and in the pocket. There are some issues here…It’s below average throwing at this point for an NFL starting quarterback. There are some major tweaks that have to be done in his throwing that are a little concerning to me. The running is real…the read-option is going to be a real threat for Desmond Ridder in the NFL. He is one of those guys, read-option, he keeps it around the edge, he can go for a 70-yard touchdown. The speed is worthy of that. But he’s got the worst feet in the pocket out of any of the top guys. He lets his arm get a little floppy…He’s not a good short ball thrower. There’s things I do like, certainly…throws a pretty good deep ball. He’s a good athlete…there are some physical traits there to build on, there’s just not a lot of evidence yet to go, ‘Oh okay, he definitely can do it.’ All in all, I guess I was expecting a hair more.”

Lamar Jackson continues to exceed expectations while betting on himself this season

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took the ultimate chance and is betting on himself this NFL season. After failing to reach an agreement with the Ravens on a long-term extension, the Pompano Beach, Florida native, who went 32nd overall in the 2018 draft, is currently playing on the $23 million 5th-year option of his rookie contract.

Jackson reportedly turned down a 5-year offer worth roughly $250 million, with $133 million guaranteed — something many were not surprised by because Deshaun Jackson’s contract, signed this summer, changed the goalposts for QB contracts, especially for a dual-threat player like Lamar Jackson who runs the ball as well as he throws the ball. This week, Jackson will face a major early season test as the 2-2 Ravens host Joe Burrow and the 2-2 Bengals on Sunday Night Football.

RELATED: Lamar Jackson on his contract situation: Respectfully, I’m done talking about it

Lamar Jackson’s rushing ability

The 2019 NFL MVP already has 13 total touchdowns this season, including 11 pass touchdowns, and currently leads the Ravens with 316 rush yards — the most of any quarterback in the NFL this season. He also ranks in the league’s top 10 in rushing yards, for all players (ranked 9th entering Week 5). Additionally, Jackson was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month in September for the second time in his career.

Powered in part by Jackson, the Ravens offense ranked first in rush yards per game in 2019 (206) and 2020 (191.9) and was third in 2021 (145.8). In 2022, the team ranks 8th entering Week 5 (142).

What will happen with Lamar Jackson’s contract at the end of the season?

Lamar Jackson is currently set to become a free agent after the season, however, he could be franchised tagged by the Ravens.

Does Lamar Jackson have an agent?

Lamar Jackson has represented himself during negotiations while leaning on the help of his mother, Felicia Jones, and the NFLPA (which reportedly advised him that he was justified to demand a fully guaranteed deal).

What other notable contracts were recently signed by NFL quarterbacks?

  • Russell Wilson: 5 years, $245 million ($124M fully guaranteed) – August 2022
  • Kyler Murray: 5 years, $230.5 million ($103.3M fully guaranteed) – July 2022
  • Deshaun Watson: 5 years, $230 million (fully guaranteed) – March 2022
  • Josh Allen: 6 years, $258 million ($100M fully guaranteed) – August 2021
  • Patrick Mahomes: 10 years, $450 million ($63.1M fully guaranteed) – July 2020

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals head to M&T Bank Stadium to take on Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens this week on Sunday Night Football. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America on NBC and Peacock. Kickoff time is at 8:20 p.m. See below for additional information on how to watch Sunday night’s Bengals vs Ravens matchup.

RELATED: How to watch Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens: TV, live stream info, game preview


How to watch the Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens:

  • Where: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
  • When: Sunday, October 9
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube

How to watch the NFL on Peacock: Full Sunday Night Football Schedule, live stream info for the 2022 season

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The 2022 NFL Season is in full gear. This week it’s Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals vs Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. with Football Night in America. Kickoff time is at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 4: Hurts At Home In Philly, Players And Parents On Football Safety, And The Case For Aaron Donald

Every Sunday Night Football game this season will be available on both NBC and Peacock. See below for the full 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule as well as additional information on how to watch every game on Peacock.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) – Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – Broncos do just enough to pull off 11-10 win over 49ers

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs dominate Bucs 41-31

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: How to watch/live stream Bengals vs Ravens game 

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 5 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!