Chris Simms thinks Baker Mayfield is better than a Super Bowl quarterback

While the Buccaneers are getting dragged by almost everyone else, Chris Simms is offering some fresh positivity.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

Part of getting to this point in the NFL offseason is predicting and ranking things that haven’t happened yet.

Oftentimes those predictions tend to be pretty off base, something the Tampa Bay Buccaneers proved last season. Picked to be a bottom feeder after Tom Brady’s retirement threw the franchise’s future into doubt, the Bucs ended up winning the NFC South for a third straight year and made the playoffs for the fourth time in a row.

It’s safe to say expectations were exceeded.

A big part of the success last season was the resurgence of Baker Mayfield. He was trolled after signing with the Bucs last March but ended up nearly winning Comeback Player of the Year while having a career season.

Baker is back in Tampa Bay and ready to help run things back, and Chris Simms is among the few brave analysts breaking free from the trend of once again doubting the Bucs and Mayfield.

Chris Simms praises Baker Mayfield, ranks him ahead of two top QBs

PFT’s Chris Simms broke down the latest batch of quarterbacks in his preseason power ranking, and had Mayfield ahead of a quarterback who played in the Super Bowl while showering him with praise we’re not used to hearing.

"To take over for Tom Brady and then just go to the playoffs, like whoa," Simms said. "As we said last year and the years before, he is a starting quarterback in the NFL and he's a damn good one ... leadership he's what you want, his ability to throw the ball and handle big moments is what I think you want too. He's fearless, and if there's a negative it's that he's sometimes a little too fearless."

Simms continued to praise Baker for his ability to pivot on the fly — an endorsement of his high football IQ — and the way that there never seems to be any question about him delivering in big moments.

"[Baker Mayfield] can still make game-changing throws, you can call plays on offense and be aggressive and not have to worry about 'oh I don't know if he can throw this or do that'," Simms said. "He might be getting ready to throw a deep crosser and go 'wait the post is open' and he'll throw the post as he's literally in the middle of throwing the deep crosser."

Mayfield wasn’t without criticism, as Simms made sure to mention that his confidence is sometimes his undoing and his habit of locking in on a receiver tends to get him in trouble. He stayed away from the lame cliche takes about Mayfield, though, and ended up with a pretty fair assessment of the Bucs quarterback while placing him 15th in his ranking.

It’s notable that Simms has Mayfield above Brock Purdy, a quarterback who played in the Super Bowl last year and has heard similar criticisms as Mayfield over the years. He also has Baker ahead of Tua Tagovailoa, who has been all over the map according to which expert is talking.

The main takeaway from this is how Simms is praising Baker in ways that Bucs fans aren’t used to hearing. Even after all that the team did last year, experts are once again picking Tampa Bay to be among the worst teams in the league and are predicting a massive regression.

Not Simms, though. The Bucs offense flows through Baker and if he can live up to the hype that Simms is laying out then Tampa Bay is prove a lot of people wrong — again.

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