It wouldn't be another day in the NFL offseason if Chris Simms wasn't angering fans of specific teams in the league, right?
With his latest reveal of the top-40 quarterbacks heading into the 2023 season, Simms listed Mac Jones at number 20, one spot above Dolphins' quarterback and former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa. And apparently, that was a gigantic mistake.
Other than the typical blowback from fans believing Jones was placed too high, most of the criticism came from those who can't wrap their heads around the idea of him being positioned higher on the list than Tua, who happens to be another quarterback who endured a roller-coaster-like start to his professional football career.
When explaining his reasoning for the ranking, Simms cited Tua's injury history as the primary drawback while also describing characteristics Jones possesses that make him better than most people realize.
"He's got more s--- to him than people realize. I know he looks like 'Johnny Abercrombie & Fitch' ... but there's confidence and s--- talking in Mac Jones, from everybody I hear. He's got incredible leadership skills that way. The durability and that aspect right there were definitely a part of the nudge of why I gave him the edge over Tua."
But he also made sure to acknowledge the weaknesses of Jones, too, specifically his timing and accuracy, much to the appeasement of those he knew would be bothered by the New England quarterback's ranking.
"Even though the arm isn't a 'wow' arm, it's above NFL average. And because of the other things we talked about -- his anticipation, his accuracy, his ability to hang in the pocket and see the field -- he makes a number of unbelievable power throws."
Despite his usual unnecessary harping on the Patriots' and Jones' struggles, his explanation for why he ranked Jones where he did was fair and honest, not leaving much left to argue with, even for those who are Dolphins fans.
But in fairness, Simms did acknowledge the difficulties both quarterbacks have dealt with during their tenures with their respective teams.
Tua dealt with mixed signals from former head coach Brian Flores, who toyed with the idea of benching the young quarterback or even drafting another one to replace him. However, since Flores' departure, Tua has shown significant progress and helped get the Dolphins back on track.
But with continuous injuries and concussions, questions have been raised about how he may perform in the future, especially since head injuries are no joke.
Regarding Jones, Simms doesn't let his 2022 season go but doesn't gloss over the apparent impact Matt Patricia had on the offense overall, with Jones' performance likely taking the biggest hit.
Now that Bill Belichick overhauled those coaching the offense and seemingly had a successful free agency and draft, Jones should be on pace to have a much improved junior season.
Looking back at his rookie season is a good example of what he is capable of in the NFL. With better coaching and teammates around him, there's no reason he can't get back to that, build upon it, and prove why he deserved to be listed above Tua in this quarterback ranking.