As the New Orleans Saints enter an era without Drew Brees as their quarterback, the biggest storyline surrounding them this offseason is who will be his successor — Will it be Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill?
According to Chris Simms’ quarterback rankings, neither is a top-tier quarterback. He has Winston at No. 25 and Hill at No. 24, surprisingly putting Hill ahead of the former No. 1 overall pick. Simms has never shied away from having the unpopular opinion and this is yet another example of that, as most people’s money is on Winston to win the starting gig.
Looking at where these two are ranked might make people think the Saints won’t be competitive this year, but that simply isn’t true. The roster is still loaded with talent and Winston is a former No. 1 overall pick who threw for 5,100 yards the last time he was a starter in the NFL while Hill went 3-1 as a starter last year with this same team.
That being said, Winston hasn’t started since 2019 and threw 30 interceptions that year while Hill is essentially a gadget player. It’s not surprising at all to see them in the lower half of Simms’ rankings.
The Saints QBs didn’t get much love in Chris Simms’ rankings.
There were 40 total quarterbacks included on Simms’ list, so despite being in the bottom half, Hill and Winston were ahead of a fair share of guys. A lot of them are either guys who haven’t stepped up much recently (Daniel Jones, Andy Dalton, Jared Goff, Tua Tagovailoa) or rookie quarterbacks (Zach Wilson, Trevor Lawrence, even Kellen Mond made the cut).
Some of the guys they ranked below were names like Jimmy Garoppolo, Ben Roethlisberger, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jimmy G is an injury-prone quarterback but took the 49ers to a Super Bowl two seasons ago, Big Ben is a two-time Super Bowl champion but on his last leg, and Fitzpatrick is the NFL’s ultimate journeyman.
Seeing Hill ranked ahead of Winston is a bit surprising but at the same time, he’s been a starter more recently than Winston has been. Hill got the nod to start all four games Brees was out last year while Winston remained the backup.
Winston might have dazzled at times as a starter for the Buccaneers but there’s a reason he’s not in Tampa anymore. The turnovers cost him his starting job there and even when he was their starter, he usually was on the backend of these lists anyway.
Keeping the Saints relevant in 2021 would go a long way toward boosting these guys’ spots on Simms’ lists. Maybe this time next year we’re talking about an entirely different storyline or neither guy is even an option moving forward because the season went south in a hurry. There’s still a lot to figure out with this situation.