Simms' Top 40 QBs: No. 29, Tyler Huntley
Chris Simms and Ahmed Fareed discuss the "Backup Supremes" tier of NFL quarterbacks, and break down Tyler Huntley's ability as a fringe starter.
AHMED FAREED: 29, another good backup who played quite a bit down the stretch, started.
CHRIS SIMMS: That's right. Don't look at the stats all necessarily either. It's Tyler Huntley, Baltimore. Tyler Huntley's damn good. I mean, damn good. You know, first off, when he took over this year, this is the one thing that jumped out to me when I started to watch film on him a little bit, we forget that, when he first took over in the season, the offense in Baltimore was struggling a little bit.
I mean, they weren't necessarily hitting on all cylinders, even with Lamar at quarterback. It was kind of going through a bit of injuries. The run game wasn't quite there, right? They had just lost to Jacksonville in Jacksonville. They couldn't protect. So he kind of took over with Lamar getting hurt, where the team was in one of those lulls that a team goes through during the season. And then they had some injuries to go along with that.
But man, when you talk about Tyler Huntley, yeah, I think he's a fringe starting quarterback. He's got, first off, a sneaky explosive arm, right? I wish he had a little bit more of a less robotic motion, but, still, he controls the ball, and the ball pops off his hands in power type throws, right? So that's the first thing I like about him. He can flip the field in one flick of the wrist that way.
Then we know his athletic ability is the real deal. It is. You go back to the playoff game against Cincinnati and some of the runs and plays he made there. And then, two, off of that, he's not a guy that looks to run. He wants to play in the pocket and throw, and dissect you with his brain and his arm. And he's a pretty good decision-maker, too. He was a hair maybe aggressive in trying to sneak a ball into some tight windows this year.
Here's the other thing, too. They don't even take advantage, I think, of some of his running. They were scared because, if he got hurt-- so they didn't call a lot of design runs for him because I think they were like, wait, if he gets hurt, we don't have Lamar. We're going to have Anthony Brown, who's barely played, and we think we're a damn good team. So they didn't even use that, really, a whole lot down the stretch of the year.
But that's where I like him. He does know how to run the offense. He's a very good athlete, like I said. He's a runner who doesn't look to run first. He wants to throw. And then he is like-- he has a quicker-- or what do I want to say? Just an ability to put the ball into tight windows, where I think some of these other guys we've talked about in the past already, where I just go, no. That's where he has a little more overall talent than I think people give him credit for.
AHMED FAREED: [INAUDIBLE] tweeted you, "How do you evaluate a quarterback like Tyler Huntley now that every team has an idea of the player he is, rather than in his first year, when he was a complete surprise to most? Does he had to accomplish more to get in the top-40 list in comparison to where he was the previous year for you, when you put him 34?" So you like what you saw from him.
CHRIS SIMMS: I did.
AHMED FAREED: He was 34 last year. Now he's 29 this year. He was a Pro Bowler.
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah.
AHMED FAREED: Let's not just dismiss that. He was a Pro Bowler, even though they don't even play the game anymore. Six games for him last year, about 65% completion percentage. The passing yards per game was down, but functioning in that offense is the main thing. It's not about a numbers game with Tyler Huntley. It's about--
CHRIS SIMMS: It's not a number--
AHMED FAREED: Do you win in their system, the way they want to play?
CHRIS SIMMS: Right, no. And I think, again, like I said, there was injuries at the running back position. They were injured at the line position when he took over. The playoff game was one of the first games where they were kind of like-- had at least a majority of their guys back. Also played an unbelievable stretch down the end, where you played teams in your division with good defenses, who have knowledge of how you play and all of that.
So they hit a few bumps in the road, and they weren't smooth in that part of the year. And then, of course, he got banged up. He didn't even play week 18, right? That's when Anthony Brown played against the Bengals, if I remember correctly.
So yeah, it wasn't like the perfect year from stats and doing all that, but that's where, again, I hope that's why I do what I do. I'm sitting here to pierce through it, to tell you, OK, yeah, I Davis Mills was the starter longer, and he did-- his numbers looked better. But I just go, well, I'm a believer here, and if you flip those situations, of course, I think Tyler Huntley could have done better than what Davis Mills did for the Houston Texans.
I like Tyler Huntley. I think he's just-- like I said, I wish he would be less robotic in his throwing motion. He does need some different releases, OK? And then maybe don't stare down receivers quite to the extent. I think that's what got him in trouble a little bit last year, where he trusted the offense, he trusted his arm, and he just went, ooh, I see him. He's my first read. I'm going to throw it in there. And he stared down some guys, and I think that led to some of the turnovers he had this year as well.
AHMED FAREED: So a question posed by your friend, Mike Florio.
CHRIS SIMMS: Right.
AHMED FAREED: A couple of weeks ago. That was maybe a month ago at this point. He goes, with the Ravens having only a right of first refusal and no compensation if another team had signed Huntley, why didn't anyone pursue him? He's making 2.6 million in 2023. It's a bargain. It's better than a bargain. It's a steal.
He has eight career regular season starts. He almost led Baltimore to that upset win at the Bengals in the wild card round. He goes, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said there's no question in his mind that Huntley can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. That could be a little bit of coach speak, trying to build up your player, but I mean, $2.6 million, isn't he worth more than that to the Baltimore Ravens?
CHRIS SIMMS: Definitely is. It's like, you don't see many guys who get put in that situation ever go to another team. It's kind of like an unspoken no-no.
AHMED FAREED: Yeah. So the point is maybe more like NFL teams, not that they're colluding--
CHRIS SIMMS: I don't know why they do it.
AHMED FAREED: --have an unwritten rule.
CHRIS SIMMS: It's an unwritten rule.
AHMED FAREED: You don't take my guy, I won't take your guy.
CHRIS SIMMS: You don't take our restricted free agent, we won't take your restricted free agent, right?
AHMED FAREED: Interesting.
CHRIS SIMMS: There is a little bit of that. And I do think that that's bullshit. I do because, of course, you're cutting off leverage for the player there, too, where we've made it a no-no. Like, oh, yeah, we're doing this, but you still have an option to go out there. And the teams have colluded to go, no, we're never going to go after those guys.
So we're never going to-- you're never going have to actually pay them more than what you intended to pay them. So that just doesn't happen. And so I think it's really what to look at more. And I don't know. If I was a coach, I would not be adhering to those rules, I could tell you that. I'd be pissing everybody off and go, no, this guy, we'll take him, and we're going to pay him a little more.
And oh, wait, now you have to pay him more if you want him back? Great. [BLEEP] you. We were trying to screw you over anyways. Right? That's all it is. It's in the rule book.
AHMED FAREED: And you'll go, we'll take him. He was in the Pro Bowl last year. He was a Pro Bowler last year.
CHRIS SIMMS: But here's-- last thing with him, too because I know-- but I talked about the things I wish, more quicker release. I wish there was more releases. But here's the other thing, and to me where, he can make game changing throws was his arm that, to me, is better than a Davis Mills or some of the guys he's in front of.
He can run the system. He proved that two years in a row. You go back and watch last year. He was damn good doing that, too. And then he can play backyard football. I mean, he can definitely play backyard, get out of the-- like, oh, nobody's open. Nothing is happening. I'll get out of the pocket and run for 10, or I'll get out of the pocket and, on the run, hit a play for 15 yards and deliver more than the playbook has to offer.
And I think, again, I'm one that puts a little more maybe stock into those departments than other people. And that's where he kind of separate himself from some of the other guys we talked about.