JACKSONVILLE – Gardner Minshew accomplished his goal Thursday.
And if the road to the NFL is a long one for many draft selections, Minshew’s road was longer and a bit more obstacle-laden than most. That made Thursday satisfying.
“I think all that experience has prepared me for this moment, this opportunity,” said Minshew, the Jaguars’ sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, the No. 178 selection overall.
“I’m just looking forward.”
Minshew (6-feet-1, 225 pounds), who played for East Carolina in 2016-2017, was a graduate transfer to Washington State in 2018. He transferred to WSU after originally considering transferring to Alabama with the idea of getting into coaching.
“It was all worth it,” Minshew said. “Even the down parts were still a lot of fun. I’m getting to play football at this age. Anything past high school is blessing. To be, here, it’s something I always dreamed of.”
Minshew completed 468 of 662 passes for 4,776 yards and 38 touchdowns with nine interceptions this past season. He won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation’s top senior or fourth-year quarterback and was the Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2018. He also was fifth in the 2018 Heisman Trophy voting.
“It’s something I always believed,” Minshew said of his NFL hopes. “Other people might not have believed it, but that didn’t matter. I believed it and my family believed it. Obviously, [Washington State Head Football] Coach [Mike] Leach believed it. I am where I am today.”
Minshew, who is considered a cerebral quarterback with high football intelligence, said he received a Jaguars playbook immediately after the draft.
“I got an IPad sent to me overnight,” Minshew said. “I’ve just been diving into that, studying and trying to get ready best I can for rookie minicamp. Hard work got me here and hard work’s going to keep me here.
“I want to earn the trust and respect of the coaches and players. That comes through the work you put in in practice. I just look forward to being part of the team and moving forward.”
The Jaguars now have signed two members of the 2019 draft class. They signed seventh-round defensive tackle Dontavius Russell earlier Thursday.
Minshew’s signing leaves the Jaguars with five unsigned draft selections: edge defender Josh Allen (Round 1, No. 7 overall), right tackle Jawaan Taylor (Round 2, No. 35 overall), tight end Josh Oliver (Round 3, No. 69 overall), linebacker Quincy Williams (Round 4, No. 98 overall) and running back RyQuell Armstead (Round 5, No. 140 overall).
The Jacksonville Jaguars have selected Washington State QB Gardner Minshew in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.