When Will Simms Be Picked?
Texas QB All Over Draft Board
Looking over the quarterback crop for next April's NFL draft? The consensus among a handful of NFL scouts queried by SI is that the top three are USC's Carson Palmer, Louisville's Dave Ragone and Marshall's Byron Leftwich. But there's little agreement about Texas's Chris Simms, the son of former Giants quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms, who arrived in Austin in 1999 with a can't-miss tag.
"I think he should be a top 10 pick," says Titans scout CO. Brocato, who has scrutinized players at Texas colleges for some 30 years. "If someone doesn't like that kid as an NFL quarterback, he's flat-out stupid. Simms has great size [6'5"] and an outstanding arm. He really zips the ball. He can make every throw. He's got a great work ethic and attitude."
But a scout for one team says Simms was the Blesto scouting service's 16th-rated senior quarterback entering the season and has played like it this fall. "He doesn't see the field well," says the scout, who asked not to be identified. "He's had some turnovers where you say, 'What was he thinking?' If his name was Schwartz, he wouldn't be thought of highly. The game is too fast for him. He's a fourth-round pick at best."
Taking the middle ground is Falcons supervisor of college scouting Mike Hagen, who believes Simms will go in the first three rounds. "I think he's going to be a better pro quarterback than a college quarterback," Hagen says. "Everyone kills him because he hasn't beaten Oklahoma, but how many games has he lost? A team with multiple picks could draft him late in the first round and be patient with him as he develops."
It's easy to criticize Simms for his poor play in big games, but this is a league in which the likes of Randy Fasani ( Panthers), Mike McMahon (Lions) and Danny Wuerffel ( Redskins) have started this season. The closer the draft gets, the better Simms will look to quarterback-needy teams. Expect him to go no later than high in the second round.
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