Gardner Minshew should WITHOUT QUESTION win Rookie of the Year and start for the Jaguars in 2020.
Forget that Gardner Minshew was a sixth-round pick. It doesn't matter, not anymore. The only reason he fell to the sixth round of the draft is he lacks the ideal size that NFL scouts covet. In 2018 at Washington State, Minshew completed 70% of his passes and threw 38 touchdown passes. It's not like his often magical rookie season was a fluke.
Minshew led all rookie QBs in passer rating (91.2), TD/INT ratio (21/6), Win/Loss percentage (.500), passing yards per game (233.6), and passing yards per attempt (7.0). He also led the entire NFL in passer rating on passes of 20+ yards (129). In nearly every meaningful category, Gardner Minshew was the best rookie QB.
He won rookie of the week seven times (including week 17). No other rookie in the NFL won the weekly award more than once.
Some historical context? Tom Brady — you know, the GOAT — wasn't nearly as effective in his first year as a starter. He threw 18 TD passes to 12 interceptions and averaged only 189.5 yards per game. And by the way, that was in his second year in the NFL. Now, I'm not trying to convince anyone that Garnder Minshew will go on to be one of the greatest QBs of all time. But what I am saying is that rookie seasons better or equal to what Gardner Minshew did in 2019 are few and far between.
But for some reason, a lot of folks out there don't have faith in the Jaguars' young quarterback.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not overlooking the fact that Minshew struggled in several games and didn't always look the part. But that's part of being a rookie in the NFL. It's not easy. Gardner did it better than anyone else in 2019.
In just 12 starts, Minshew threw 21 touchdown passes to just six interceptions. He was able to do so despite getting limited reps in training camp and practice leading up to the season.
He also showed signs of growth throughout the year. Early on, Minshew was very loose with the football and struggled to hold on to in when facing pressure. But by the end of the season, Minshew displayed excellent ball security.
And the mustachioed QB was fantastic at extending plays in 2019. He added 344 yards on the ground, averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
Due to Minshew being a sixth-round pick in a small market, he likely won't even come close to winning Rookie of the Year. But there's little question that he's the most deserving candidate.
While the national media may sleep on Gardner Minshew's legitimacy for Rookie of the Year, the Jaguars' coaching staff and front office need to put their faith in the young signal-caller. He had a historically impressive rookie season and unequivocally deserves to be the Jaguars' starting QB in 2020.
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