We've worked our way through nearly every position group on the Jaguars' roster, leading up to the most critical position in all of sports: Quarterback.
Position Group Grades: Running Back, Tight End, Offensive Tackle, Interior O-Line, Defensive End, Defensive Tackle, Linebacker, Cornerback, and Safety.
Today, on the eve of veterans reporting to training camp, it's all about the passing game. We'll start with the quarterback room and finish up with the wide receivers later today.
Gardner Minshew is entering his second year in the NFL and his first season as the unquestioned starter. At this time last year, it was unclear if he'd make the team. But after a rookie season in which he led the Jaguars to a 6-6 record as the starter, threw 21 touchdown passes to just six interceptions, and led the entire NFL in deep passer rating, Minshew has established himself as the guy moving forward.
He had one of the more memorable rookies seasons of a QB in some time, and you could certainly make the case the deserved to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL, especially after winning seven Offensive Rookie of the Week awards. With his signature mustache and crafty playing style, Minshew Mania swept the nation.
To many outside of the Jaguars' locker room, he was little more than a social media meme. But his ability to lead and play quarterback at a high level is why he's got a stranglehold on the starting job. Minshew was far from perfect in 2019. He needs to grow as a technician, especially with his footwork and needs to show more poise in the pocket.
Having a more talented, versatile, and deep group of offensive weapons should aid his cause in his second year in the NFL. With the additions of Tyler Eifert, Laviska Shenault, Chris Thompson, Collin Johnson, and the return of James O'Shaughnessy and Josh Oliver at tight end, there's no question he'll have more to work with in 2020. And having an offense designed by Jay Gruden, that Minshew can take ownership of, will be a boon for the young signal-caller.
Behind Minshew, Josua Dobbs, Mike Glennon, and Jake Luton will battle it out to make the team. The Jaguars have traditionally kept two quarterbacks on the active roster with one on the practice squad. It's unlikely that Luton, a 2020 sixth-round pick, can outpace Dobbs and Glennon during training camp, so he's likely bound for the practice squad.
If the Jaguars keep just two quarterbacks as they usually do, that'll leave Dobbs and Glennon to battle it out. Glennon is certainly the more experienced option, but it's his first year in Jacksonville. Dobbs has been with the team nearly a full season now, and they gave up a fifth-round pick to acquire him.
Dobbs should be able to provide a spark with his legs, while Glennon is more of a pocket passer. Either one should be a suitable backup, but neither will be able to come in and keep the offense rolling in the same fashion as Minshew. Glennon's experience could prove a valuable tool for Minshew as he traverses his first full season as a starter.
If Minshew takes any sort of step forward in 2020, the Jaguars will have a chance to win every time they step on the field. In most of the games he wasn't able to win, the defense let the Jaguars down early, which forced the offense out of their comfort zone. As long as the defense can hold a little better early on in games, Minshew will give the Jags an opportunity to win. His ability to make something out of nothing, and his deep ball accuracy carried him in 2020; now, he needs to show a better understanding of playing within the pocket. If Dobbs or Glennon is forced into action, the Jaguars will likely be dead in the water, but that's the case for most teams around the league.
Grade: C+ (78.5)
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