Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft QB Rankings: C.J. Stroud leads the way, and a tie at No. 5


The 2023 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and there are six quarterback prospects that appear to stand out from the rest.

Chris Simms unveiled his 2023 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 Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud as the top quarterback prospect in this class.

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

Along with Stroud, Simms ranked Alabama’s Bryce Young at No. 2, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker at No. 3, Florida’s Anthony Richardson at No. 4 and a tie at No.5 between UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Kentucky’s Will Levis.

The 2023 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 27, and end on Saturday, April 29. The first round will take place on Thursday with rounds two and three airing on Friday and rounds four through seven on Saturday.

RELATED: When is the 2023 NFL Draft? Date, start time, location, Round 1 order

Simms’ Top Six QB prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft

Tier One

1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

Tier Two

2. Bryce Young, Alabama

3. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

Tier Three

4. Anthony Richardson, Florida

Tier Four

T-5. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

T-5. Will Levis, Kentucky

Chris Simms Draft QB Rankings

RELATED: 2023 NFL Draft order: Complete list of every pick from Round 1 through Round 7

Simms Breaks Down 2023 Draft QB Rankings

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.

No. 1: C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

What Simms Said: “This is as close to Joe Burrow as I’ve seen coming out in the draft here. I mean, when you just talk about great decision-making, quickness…when you talk about hitting the bullseye on a consistent basis, C.J. Stroud’s ability to make high-level throws and just drop the ball in receiver’s pockets, hit them in the chest, wherever, it’s off the charts good…his arm is better than Burrow’s was coming out…his throwing, especially with the ability to power throw and put the ball into tight windows time after time after time, I’d actually give him the advantage over Joe Burrow in that department.”

No. 2: Bryce Young, Alabama

What Simms Said: “He’s as natural at playing the position as you’re going to see, he makes so many great quarterback plays. He, just like C.J. Stroud, the brain is on another level, their ability to read defenses, see the field, throw the appropriate throw, knowing when to stop a guy… he’s about as slick as you’re going to see. He’s a natural throwing the football… he’s smart, he understands defenses… the pocket is getting tight like it does in the NFL… he might throw it, but it’s never real accurate or he throws it just to get it out of his hand so he doesn’t get hit or sacked… he the smaller quarterback, when he gets hit sometimes, it looks super aggressive cause his body flies… those are the concerns, that’s why he’s not number one, but man there’s a lot to like.”

No. 3: Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

What Simms Said: “Why is this guy not getting more buzz? What is there not to like?… All I know is I saw a really good looking, on the money, pocket-passing quarterback who makes great decisions and like C.J. Stroud is way more athletic than people are giving him credit for. And, where he might be even better than C.J. Stroud and definitely better than Bryce Young, his ability to see over the line and throw over the line… totally unaffected by the pass-rush…he’s consistently on the money throwing in to tight coverage…if you’re going off film, I don’t know how he’s not in the top quarterback conversation.”

No. 4: Anthony Richardson, Florida

What Simms Said: “This guy’s arm is off the charts good…is there a little boom or bust here with Anthony Richardson? Of course. His ceiling is probably the highest ceiling in the draft. His floor, though, out of the guys we are going to talk through today it might be the lowest floor too. It could be that…there’s some games and some plays where you go man his eyes are all over the place and I’m not sure what he’s looking at… but then there’s other games where you go I mean he’s on the money and his eyes are right in the perfect spots… you’re not going to want to rely on him like you would Hendon Hooker or Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud to go hey we’re looking to throw it 38 times today…this is the kind of guy where you get him on your team you go we’re looking to throw it 24 times today and we want maybe 8 rushes from you.”

T-No. 5: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

What Simms Said: “Taller than Bryce Young, faster than Bryce Young, think his arm might be stronger than Bryce Young. He plays the position of quarterback right up there with the top guys in the sport. I mean he can do everything…he has a little bit of a long wind-up, maybe doesn’t see the field as well as C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young…I would argue that going through reads and seeing the field other than Stroud and Young he’s the next best one in the group, even maybe better than Hendon Hooker in that department… his mechanics are great, his feet is great, he’s got a really natural, fluid motion… so I’m just shocked I look at lists and there’s fifteen quarterbacks and this kid’s thirteen…this kid’s got starting quarterback NFL traits.”

T-No. 5: Will Levis, Kentucky

What Simms Said: “I like Will Levis, and I’m totally in the reality of like Will Levis could certainly go in the top ten, twelve picks in the draft… he’s got a little bit of the boom, bust factor here. He does, and maybe even less of a bust…first off, the positives, his size, his toughness, it’s off the charts… laser show. He can throw in lasers like C.J. Stroud or Richardson. The problem is, it’s too few and far between… it’s just a little too all over the place, the ball itself and the mechanics. Both of it. And, out of the decision-making, he’s kind of toward the bottom of the list in that department too.”

For more preview content of the 2023 NFL Draft, stay tuned to Chris Simms Unbuttoned, ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports EDGE for all the latest updates, player analysis and mock drafts.

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as 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: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!