NFL scouts questioned Gardner Minshew, which made Mike Leach question them

Getty Images

Gardner Minshew set passing records at Washington State last year, but NFL teams were not overly impressed, which is why he didn’t go off the board until the sixth round of the draft, when the Jaguars picked him. Washington State coach Mike Leach thinks that says more about NFL scouts than it says about Minshew.

Leach told Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network that he had conversations with NFL teams before the draft in which he found himself dismayed by how little they seemed to understand about what made Minshew such a productive college quarterback.

“He’s one of those guys who uplifts the entire team,” Leach said of Minshew. “The funny thing is, people would call me about him and they’d ask, ‘How’s his arm?’ His arm is good. ‘Is he accurate?’ I mean, I’m wondering if they’re real scouts if they start asking me if he’s accurate. And then, ‘How strong is his arm?’ And it’s running through my mind, Did you really watch his film? And then his pocket presence? He’s got great pocket presence, that’s probably what he does best — he doesn’t take negative plays. And then they’d say, ‘How tall is he?’ I’d say, ‘Well, he’s exactly as tall as the all-time leading passer in the history of the NFL, Drew Brees.’ So then there’s this long, long, long pause, just really long. Because scouts have the ability to scrutinize and perceive life at a much higher level than you or I, mere mortals can.”

Leach has been the head coach at Washington State for seven years, and he was the head coach at Texas Tech for 10 years before that. And although he’s often had productive passing offenses, so far, none of his quarterbacks have amounted to anything in the NFL. So it would be easy to understand if NFL scouts believe Minshew’s passing numbers were a product of the system. But Leach thinks Minshew can prove them wrong.

50 responses to “NFL scouts questioned Gardner Minshew, which made Mike Leach question them

  1. There have been many, many college QBs who have set records that absolutely stunk in the NFL. 99% of the players in college will never see an NFL gridiron. It was men amongst boys. Now that they’re playing against stronger, faster, and smarter players, they fail…

  2. all i know is that I am a Jag fan and when he was drafted, his supporters from wash state all came to jag message boards and facebook pages to RAVE about him. I mean it was like they were BOTS, but they were all real and genuine. I never honestly heard of him until the draft, but if his fans are to be a metric, i say he has what it takes, just needs a shot

  3. I hope he scouts Brees. Brees has this wierd (hey it works) stand on his tip toes to throw motion. He learned to compensate for his height. He also has one of the better offensive minds in football laying out blocking schemes to minimize his height issues. I wish him well, but without an excellent Offensive coach he is not going to thrive.

  4. Those same scouts that had Tom Brady rated as a free agent are now saying Tom’s just a product of Belichick’s offense. He’d never make it on another team. It’s all the system.

  5. Love Mike Leach, gets the most out of the kids he coaches… sadly he is correct about the lack of skill that the nfl scouting profession has morphed into with so many non players,non coaches and analysts thinking they are evaluators. Calling and asking questions about traits they are supposed to be qualified to figure out on there own through tape evaluation, live exposure.

  6. No one said it yet, but… there were several good QBs that got, well maybe.. overlooked in early rounds. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Is he willing to put in the work it takes to become better than the other guys is the big question I don’t think gets looked at enough in the draft. Lots of high draft picks never worked hard enough to make the leap to NFL.

  7. He will be at least a quality backup and likely have a long career. He has a legitimate shot at being a starting QB. I would expect him to make the 53 man cut.

  8. Sounds like scouts all follow the same script and that’s probably a contributing factor as to why the majority of teams haven’t won a championship this century.

  9. Yeah…Mike Leach..the guy who locked Adam James in a dark equipment room to punish him for suffering a concussion. I don’t think he’s anyone’s “hero”.

  10. So apparently the worst QB prospect you can be this days is 6’5+ with a rocket arm. Which would explain why that kid from U of Buffalo went undrafted. Now, after guys like Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler busting I can see why the sentiments, but jeez, overcorrection much?

  11. That’s part of what makes picking QBs such a crap shoot because even the experts are inconsistent from one guy to the next with what they deem to be important. This kid seems to have been docked due to his size, yet Kyler Murray had those same concerns largely dismissed. That doesn’t mean those won’t ever come into play during his NFL career–it just means that for whatever reason the scouts decided to look past them. The other part that makes absolutely not sense is how guys have a tendency to move up and down the draft boards when there’s been basically no additional info on them for months. (Sure if you either tank or rock it at the combine that could happen but sometimes guys’ stock will rise or fall for seemingly no reason at all.)

  12. NFL scouts are worse than weather forecasters. 1st round draft picks have about a 50% fail rate and the lower rounds it gets much worse, which means that NFL scouts who tell their GMs who to draft, who are paid professional, have at best a 50% success rate at doing their job. Does anybody else get to perform that bad at their job? Basically scouts are a waste of money, better off throwing darts at the wall and drafting as many players as possible instead of focusing on just a few players. The major factor with any draft pick 1st or 220 is can they improve their game enough to match the speed of the NFL and there is no way to tell that until they go against NFL veterans.

  13. “He’s one of those guys who uplifts the entire team,”

    A Navy town understands a high tide rises all ships.

  14. Go watch him play, then you will understand why he went so late, his long ball sucks, his reads are a joke and his WR’s bailed him out of really bad passes almost all game long all year long.

  15. Props to leach for selling his kid but this is the NFL where 6th round under 6 ft QBs end up using there college degrees to put food on the table

  16. Come on, give the scouts a break.

    Minshew was so far down the list he wasn’t worth more than a “radio it in” effort.
    There’s only so much effort any scout is going to make and so he has to allocate it where it’s worthwhile.

    And Leach being a smart mouth about it, throwing shade, doesn’t help his future players’ prospects much either.

  17. He didn’t seem ready for the NFL when I saw him play last year.
    And there’s no QB to mentor him in Tampa. Winston still needs a mentor himself.

  18. I was hoping the seahawks would get him as an undrafted QB. He can play, period. has a little bit Montana / Jimmy Mac in him. He can drop a the long ball right in the receivers hands. Good pick by the Jags

  19. charliecharger says:

    Those same scouts that had Tom Brady rated as a free agent are now saying Tom’s just a product of Belichick’s offense.
    ==================================================

    Those same scouts? Name one. Oh. You can’t. At least fabricate something good.

  20. And the fact is, this might be the most publicity the kid ever gets in the NFL. Nothing against the kid, it’s just the the way it is when you play the toughest position in all of sports.

  21. Minshew has an average arm at best and had a disproportionately high number of batted passes, not a good sign if you’re barely six feet. He wasn’t a full-time starter until his senior/graduate transfer year at Washington State; he couldn’t even win the starting job at East Carolina. Sixth round pick sounds about right.

  22. Name one QB from the Mike Leach system that SUCCEEDED in the NFL. Heck, he had just as good a record as every single Florida school since 1990 in putting out QB busts

  23. I always wanted to know how Mike Leach and his system would fare in the NFL, and I suspect we’ll find out to some degree with Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona.

  24. Michael E says:
    May 7, 2019 at 6:51 pm
    charliecharger says:

    Those same scouts that had Tom Brady rated as a free agent are now saying Tom’s just a product of Belichick’s offense.

    I’m sorry but yes he is. Had he gotten drafted to the Browns back then he would have been a 4th round QB. I know that will send Pats fans into the bars but sorry,the success of that team is on BB. He could have put me in there and won.

    Which is why no QB who has ever left there has ever been successful. Not a Pats fan but I sure respect BB.

  25. Maybe the Cardinals picked the wrong great offensive mind. Leach sure can get QBs to throw for lots of yards pretty easily…he’s the guy who makes all of these system quarterbacks, maybe he should show them how it’s done.

  26. They really asked him how tall the player they are scouting is? Isn’t that information easily available without wasting this guy’s time?

  27. I hate when people fall back on “scouts are clueless when it comes to qbs because of Brady”. The entire league missed that one but that’s the one caveat to misjudging qbs when they turn out great. They often times don’t miss in that direction. They usually miss with the qb being garbage and I think it’s because this league is qb driven.

    As far as brees goes, in spite of his height, he still went in the first round. I’d trust scouts more often than not with this…. but why wouldn’t leach support his guy

  28. If the ratio of busts get higher as the rounds go on, doesn’t that mean scouts are actually excellent at their jobs… higher picks, higher success rate.

    NFL scouts are worse than weather forecasters. 1st round draft picks have about a 50% fail rate and the lower rounds it gets much worse, which means that NFL scouts who tell their GMs who to draft, who are paid professional, have at best a 50% success rate at doing their job. Does anybody else get to perform that bad at their job? Basically scouts are a waste of money, better off throwing darts at the wall and drafting as many players as possible instead of focusing on just a few players. The major factor with any draft pick 1st or 220 is can they improve their game enough to match the speed of the NFL and there is no way to tell that until they go against NFL veterans.

  29. I agree with Leach that there’s no reason to reward rank laziness! What scout who’s job it is to watch tape and attend the games should be asking those ridiculous kinds of basic questions?! If Minishaw was Aaaron Rodgers, everyone would know that! I wish more coaches treated these lazy “professionals” this way!

  30. Poor man’s Baker Mayfield. He is a natural leader. He loves football and has a knack for making plays. He may never get his shot to start but I think he could have a great career as a back-up because he is just the sort of player teams want in their locker room (something the Jags seem to have been missing of late).

  31. Last year I loved Baker Mayfield because to me he just had “IT”. I see they same thing with Gardner Minshew this year. Some players just have “IT” and scouts just don’t see that.

  32. Drafting a qb that fits your system and already having a line to block for him are WAY more important than any other metrics in the QB finding game.

  33. You can’t use exceptionalism to bash scouts or teams for picks. People use Brady to say the scouts blew it. Yes they did, but every team passed on him, including the Patriots five times. Nothing he did in his college career or at the combine screamed that he would have the success he has had. How many 6th round picks have gone on to have HOF careers?

    As for short QBs, picking Brees and Flutie as successes is false since statistically, short QBs haven’t done as well as bigger QBs. Perhaps they haven’t had the chances. Perhaps they were invited to the camps but failed so badly we haven’t heard from them again. People don’t use those failed short QBs in their arguments.

  34. I know that will send Pats fans into the bars but sorry,the success of that team is on BB. He could have put me in there and won.
    ****************************

    Ok, i get that folks don’t like Brady for whatever reason, but to say that any QB could have won like him is ridiculous. If you’re going to tell me that anyone, including you as some guy off the street, could have done what Brady did in the SB against the Falcons then I’d tell you there’s no sense in watching sports if you think anyone can do that.

  35. Mike Leach and Gregg Popovich are two coaches who don’t tolerate fools gladly!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!