JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Gardner Minshew II entered the NFL in quite different fashion than fellow rookie passers Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins. Unlike them, he didn't hear his name called on Day 1 of the NFL Draft and was never proclaimed the future of his new team.
Instead, Minshew was a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and went through all of training camp as the Jacksonville Jaguars' backup quarterback. After sitting behind veteran Nick Foles since draft day though, things changed in the season opener as Foles went down with a clavicle injury.
Minshew went on to start the next eight games and Jacksonville went 4-4. Foles would return to the lineup but was again replaced by Minshew in Week 14 due to ineffectiveness. In the final four games of the season, Minshew would go 2-2 as a starter.
His 6-6 record as a starter was the best of any rookie quarterback, including those taken five rounds before him.
'Obviously, I think the biggest thing for me is helping my team win and I did that better than any rookie quarterback, so that gets me fired up a little bit," Minshew said Monday.
Minshew is coming directly off his best performance since his first stint as starter, a 38-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts that saw him throw for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Following the solid performance, Minshew's overall numbers stack up nicely to the rest of the rookie quarterback class. Minshew wasn't shy about saying so, either.
When asked about how his numbers compared to the other rookie QBs, Minshew simply replied, "Better. Better,"
|Gardner Minsew||Kyler Murray||Daniel Jones||Dwayne Haskins||Drew Lock|
3,271 passing yards
3,722 passing yards
3,027 passing yards
1,365 passing yards
1,020 passing yards
21 passing touchdowns
20 passing touchdowns
24 passing touchdowns
7 passing touchdowns
7 passing touchdowns
344 rushing yards
544 rushing yards
279 rushing yards
101 rushing yards
72 rushing yards
"You kind of can’t help but compare yourself to those guys, especially when
they get taken before you," Minshew said. "I still remember guys who got offered to schools I wanted to go to and I didn’t get those opportunities, so I
still remember that. You kind of take that with a grain of salt."
Unlike Murray with the Cardinals, Jones with the Giants and Haskins with the Redskins, Minshew has yet to be been named as the man at quarterback for Jacksonville's near future. Chances are that he will compete with Foles during OTAs and training camp for the job.
But that lack of commitment doesn't matter to him. What does matter, he said, is the confidence he has in himself, confidence that has only continued to grow with each game.
"I know what I am. I know I am going to be a great quarterback in this league," Minshew said. "I think we are going to build something great here. And it is irrelevant what (the other rookie quarterbacks) do as to what we are building."