Three-hundred sixty-seven days ago, long before his Twitter account, right arm or brown mustache would draw thousands and thousands of followers, Gardner Minshew typed a tweet on the eve of the 2018 NFL draft.
“365 days to prove why my name should get called! #NFLDraft2019,” he wrote.
Ten simple words from a quarterback whose career had constantly been derailed, but whose confidence was never bruised. How prophetic they were.
Minshew, the well-traveled quarterback who ventured to Washington State and broke a litany of passing records in his final college football season, was selected in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The pick was announced at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, by former Jaguars player Damon Jones, the organization’s first-ever tight end to be drafted, and a Jacksonville super fan.
Minshew became the 11th Cougar quarterback to be selected in the draft and the second in as many years to come off the board in the sixth round after Luke Falk was picked by the Tennessee Titans in 2018. He’s the second Cougar to be selected in the 2019 draft, coming off the board two days after his left tackle, Andre Dillard, was picked in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles.
In his lone season at WSU, Minshew threw for passing yards galore, leading the nation in yards per game (397.6) while completing better than 70 percent of his throws for 4,779 total yards and 38 touchdown passes.
Washington was well-represented again in the NFL draft with four more Huskies selected on Saturday — defensive tackle Greg Gaines, linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven, cornerback Jordan Miller and running back Myles Gaskin.
Gaines was selected in the fourth round (No. 134 overall) by the the Los Angeles Rams. The 6-foot-2, 319-pounder was named the Morris Trophy winner in 2018, given to the Pac-12’s best defensive lineman.
Gaines was durable and dominant in the middle of UW’s defensive line, appearing in 54 games for the Huskies over the past four years, a program record.
Burr-Kirven, the nation’s leading tackler last season with 176 total tackles, was taken by the Seattle Seahawks with the 142nd overall pick in the fifth round.
Burr-Kirven was the 2018 Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named a first-team AP All-American. He started every game for the Huskies last season.
The Atlanta Falcons selected Miller with the 172nd overall pick in the fifth round. Miller will join offensive tackle Kaleb McGary, who was taken with the 31st overall pick in the first round, in Atlanta. Miller ran a 4.49 dash at the NFL Combine.
Miller finished his Husky career with 61 tackles, six interceptions, 18 passes defended, three fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Gaskin was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 234th overall pick in the seventh round, giving the Huskies a total of eight players selected over the three-day event.