Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars
By far the weakest performer of the AFC South group, Minshew unexpectedly took the field in Week 1 after an unfortunate clavicle injury to Nick Foles and opened his career with 13 consecutive completions to set an NFL record. His hot start to the season inspired Minshew Mania and gave the Jaguars hope for the first time since their AFC Championship Game appearance with Blake Bortles, though it was short-lived. Of all qualified passers, Minshew ranked 21st overall according to Pro Football Focus with a 70.3 grade and surprisingly passed for more yards than Lamar Jackson and Drew Brees.
However, it must be noted that the Jaguars have engaged in full-on tank mode and do not appear to be fielding a competitive roster for the upcoming season. Within the past year they have already traded away Calais Campbell, AJ Bouye, Jalen Ramsey, and Nick Foles, and Yannick Ngakoue is likely to be next on that list.
The pass-catching group for the Jaguars is uninspiring outside of DJ Chark, including incumbents Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, free-agent addition Chris Conley and injury-prone 2nd round pick Laviska Shenault. Minshew also will be operating with former Pro-Bowler Tyler Eifert, but he has only played in 44 total games out of a possible 96 since 2014.
The Jaguars seem like a dysfunctional organization that probably should have moved on from coach Doug Marrone after an abysmal 11-21 record since 2018. They appear content letting Minshew ride out the season as a starter and vying for a top spot in the 2021 NFL Draft for a chance to select Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.
With that being said, Minshew will likely continue to grow as a passer despite the Jaguars fielding the worst supporting cast in the league and his performance will likely be a mixed bag of sorts. Last season, he totaled more than 3270 yards, 21 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, and 60.6% passing in 14 games. This year he should be expected to throw for
2020 Prediction for Gardner Minshew: 3,600 yards, 18 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, 1 rushing score, and 62% passing.