Even though they haven’t had the most success one the field in the past couple of seasons, the Jacksonville Jaguars sure have featured one of the most interesting characters in the NFL.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew is one of the most fun players to root for in the NFL.
La Flama Blanca. pic.twitter.com/OtEYQTO0sk
— Gardner Minshew (@GardnerMinshew5) July 11, 2021
He checks the underdog box, having been selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by Jacksonville.
Minshew is a passionate guy who clearly loves the game more than anything, which fans love.
It’s also anyone’s guess as to whether he’ll rock a mullet one week, a goatee the next, or mutton chops next month.
All @GardnerMinshew5 needed was an opportunity.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) October 1, 2020
Despite the exciting package Minshew brings to the field, and acceptable production, (he has a career 37 touchdown to 11 interception ratio), the Jaguars should embrace the new direction they’re headed in for the 2021 season.
Ideally, Minshew Would Not See The Field
As everyone knows by now, Jacksonville invested the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on former Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence wasn’t just the clear cut option at the top of this year’s Draft; he has been touted by some as the best quarterback prospect in a decade.
For those reasons alone, Lawrence should feel comfortable about his ability to lead the Jaguars without worry.
There are already glowing reports about his camaraderie with teammates and the elite throws he’s making look easy in training camp.
However, Jacksonville head coach Urban Meyer has made it seem like Lawrence may not have the Week 1 starting job wrapped up just yet.
Earlier this week, Meyer communicated that the competition at quarterback was an “open” one, which would leave room for Minshew to somehow leapfrog Lawrence this summer.
The two men have alternated first-team reps in practice, which would give some credence to Meyer’s assessment of the situation.
But there’s no way Minshew should be under center for Jacksonville in Week 1, or ideally, at any point during the 2021 season.
NFL teams these days probably rush rookie quarterbacks into action way earlier than they should, but the Jaguars shouldn’t think twice about giving Lawrence the keys to the car immediately.
When someone comes into the league as highly touted as he is, who has accomplished everything there is to on the college level, there isn’t much of a reason to hold him back.
In this particular quarterback “battle”, it isn’t like Minshew gives the team a better chance to win right now than Lawrence.
Additionally, the Jaguars would be wise to keep Minshew on the sidelines to preserve his trade value.
Even though Jacksonville was 1-7 in games he started last year, Minshew’s performance under center wasn’t too different than in 2019.
In 2019, he was viewed as a bit of a diamond in the rough considering where he was drafted, but the team around him was much worse in 2020.
Consciously putting Minshew on the field in a non-injury situation, and risking a perception decline around the league would negatively affect Jacksonville’s negotiating power in a trade.