Derek Carr, 25, and Blake Bortles, 24, are two of the top young quarterbacks in football. Carr threw for 32 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 yards last year, while Bortles threw for 35 touchdowns and almost 4,500 yards. Both have good size as well, coming in at 6-3 and 6-5, respectively.
So on the surface, these are two similar, evenly matched quarterbacks.
Just don’t tell that to Chris Simms. The CBS Sports NFL analyst, when asked which quarterback he’d rather have, didn’t hesitate.
“Derek Carr – and I don’t even have to think about that one,” Simms said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Blake Bortles’ statistics were misleading, in my opinion, last year. They have tremendous talent. Julius Thomas at tight end, Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, now they got Chris Ivory at running back, and they have a good little offensive line.”
Thus, while Bortles has talent, he may be more of a product of those around him.
“Bortles is not a knock-down thrower of the football, in my opinion, as far as NFL standards,” Simms said. “The other think you’ll notice about Blake Bortles – and I covered one of their games last year – they were one of the worst three-step passing teams in all of football. People think, ‘Oh, you have to be accurate to throw the ball down the field.’ No, to be a successful short-throwing team, you have to be extra accurate, right? If you’re catching a slant going over the middle, if (it’s) behind you and Ray Lewis is about to knock your head off, you’re going to drop it, I’m sorry. He has to, to me, still improve as a knock-down thrower of the football in the NFL. Derek Carr is special. I like Derek Carr. Maybe I’m higher than most, but I really do like him a lot.”
In other quarterback news, Simms feels that there are only two legitimate QB battles in the NFL: Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian in Denver, and Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert in San Francisco.
“I think in Denver it’ll be Sanchez, only because of experience,” Simms said. “From what I’ve heard, Siemian is edging him out a little. He can throw it, this kid. He’s got a little something to him, so watch out for him. In San Francisco, I think Blaine Gabbert is going to win. First of all, Kaepernick didn’t get to practice all spring in OTAs, minicamp, all those type of things. And I think if you throw Kaepernick out there and it’s not real successful right away, it’ll be the end of Kaepernick in San Francisco.”
Simms also addressed the quarterback situation in Buffalo.
“Listen, they’re in an interesting spot,” he said. “That’s a good team, good roster. Tyrod Taylor certainly played well last year. I don’t know if it’s as good as his stats show. Tyrod Taylor, for lack of a better phrase, maybe feasted on the weak a little bit so it made an imbalance of his stats. I’m not sold. I need to see Tyrod Taylor against the upper echelon defenses in football. The name of the game is still about in the pocket can you make decisions? Especially when you play good defensive teams? Can he sit there and go through the reads and make those type of throws? That would be my one issue there, but Buffalo is going to be a pain in the butt for anybody.”