Jaguars choosing Trevor Lawrence over Gardner Minshew was a no-brainer

• Gardner Minshew is a fine QB but the Jaguars were right to move on from him and roll with Trevor Lawrence.
Jaguars quarterbacks (15) Gardner Minshew II and (16) Trevor Lawrence during drills at Tuesday's minicamp session. TIAA Bank Field, June 15, 2021.
Jaguars quarterbacks (15) Gardner Minshew II and (16) Trevor Lawrence during drills at Tuesday's minicamp session. TIAA Bank Field, June 15, 2021. / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union via Imagn

The Jacksonville Jaguars showed their trust in Trevor Lawrence when they gave him a top-market deal that makes him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league. However, some analysts don't think the former Clemson Tiger was deserving of such a contract. Some have gone as far as saying that Gardner Minshew, the man Lawrence replaced, has been equally, if not productive over the last three years. That simply isn't true.

Minshew, a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft, has had somewhat of a nomadic career, playing for the Jags, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Las Vegas Raiders. He's currently competing with sophomore Aidan O'Connell for the starting job in Sin City.

Back in his rookie season, Minshew took over an ineffective and injured Nick Foles. He was one of the team's few bright spots that year. The Jags ended up going 6-10 but there was a bit of optimism heading into the following season because of how the mustachioed quarterback played. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to build off of the success of his first NFL campaign.

After beating the Indianapolis Colts in the 2020 opener, the Jags went on to 15 straight games. Some of it was due to the quarterback play. At one point, Minshew was benched. He eventually returned to the starting lineup but quickly went back to the sidelines. By the end of the year, all the good grace he had accumulated in his rookie season had gone out of the window.

By virtue of having the worst record in the NFL, the Jaguars clinched the top pick in 2021. Coincidentally, Trevor Lawrence was the best prospect available, and there was a 99.9 percent chance he was going to go first overall regardless of which team held the selection. To nobody's surprise, Jacksonville went with the two-time First-Team All-ACC.

With the arrival of Lawrence, Minshew stated that he wanted to compete for a job. He wasn't going to get that chance in Jacksonville, so he requested a trade. Ultimately, he was shipped to the Philadelphia Eagles before the start of the 2021 season. Since then, Lawrence has gone on to become the Jaguars' most valuable player. He played a huge role in their 2022 turnaround and a big reason they had a shot week in and week out last year.

Trevor Lawrence is a more talented QB than Gardner Minshew

Make no mistake, Gardner Minshew is a capable quarterback who can come off the bench and win a few games when called upon. Last year, he stepped in for the Colts after Anthony Richardson suffered a season-ending injury and nearly took them to the playoffs. However, the best offer Minshew got in free agency was a two-year deal worth $25 million from the Raiders.

It's true that Trevor Lawrence is coming off an underwhelming season but it's important to point out that before injuries piled up, he was having a banner season. Moreover, he was 15-3 dating back to 2022.

If that wasn't enough, Steezy Trev ranked third in the league in EPA, which adjusts a player's performance by taking into account drops, passes that could've been intercepted but were dropped and other factors. Meanwhile, Minshew was 29th using the same criteria.

This is to say that posts like the one below will make Minshew look better than he is, and Lawrence much worse than he truly is.

Is Minshew a good quarterback? You bet but he's nowhere near Lawrence's level. The Jaguars knew it, which is why they moved on from him in 2021.

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