After a solid rookie season, where does Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew rank amongst the four signal-callers in the AFC South?
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew was well aware of his success on the field this past season. As the team’s signal-caller, he appeared in 14 games and threw for 3,271 and 21 touchdowns. It was by far the best performance of any rookie quarterback in a Jacksonville uniform in the 25 years of the franchise’s existence.
And when asked about how he performed on the field, the confident former sixth-round pick out of Washington State let the local media know he was better than the other quarterbacks who came into the league with him. It’s that kind of confidence and swagger that has made him a beloved figure here in the 904.
And it’s a reason why he walks into the 2020 season looking to do better and help this team win more than six games.
But where does Minshew fall in the pecking order of the AFC South? It was a division that surprised many, having two teams in the playoffs – Houston and Tennessee – and two quarterbacks named to the Pro Bowl.
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For everything Minshew accomplished, it’s hard to see him any better than the third-best quarterback in this division, which says something about the talent of the four football teams.
At the beginning of training camp, I was having the same conversation with members of the local media, only Nick Foles was the quarterback in question and Andrew Luck hadn’t announced his retirement. Just so you know, Foles was a distant third to Luck and Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson. Now, it is Watson who is at the top of the list with Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill a close second with a possibility of hitting free agency once again after the Titans’ march to the AFC title game.
What this does is prove the division is one of the best in the NFL and the quarterbacks for the four teams could have an even better season in 2020. And there is still plenty of questions to answer.
- Will Watson take the next step towards being a top 5 quarterback?
- Does the Titans front office find a way to keep Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry?
- Will Minshew even keep his job when the Jaguars come back to camp?
- Will Jacoby Brissett be under center for the Indianapolis Colts come April?
The Jaguars have a new offensive coordinator and a new system that should play to Minshew’s strengths this season. Foles is still very much a part of the Jaguars quarterback room and could wrestle the starting job away from the youngster. That could throw this list out the window as a season filled with injury would undoubtedly put the veteran at the bottom of a list like this.
For now, this is the makeup of the AFC South. It only gets better as each team prepares for free agency and the NFL Draft. For years, quarterbacks chased Peyton Manning and Luck for supremacy in the division. Now, they can stand on their own as some of the best in the NFL.