On June 26th, Razzball’s own, B_Don @RazzBDon, was Twittering with someone about the legitimacy of Gardner Minshew’s rushing ability.

I immediately headed over to PlayerProfiler.com and typed in Peyton Manning. 4.90 40-yard dash time. Whoa. Gardner Minshew? 4.97. Now, Minshew’s college rushing production is skewed because he only attempted 38 rushes for -76 yards in two years at East Carolina, while he rushed 58 times for 119 yards in his one year at Washington State, but the 40-time and comparison to Manning picqued my interest, so I scurried down the rabbit hole to explore. Here’s what I found:

My first query was for seasons in which any quarterback in the history of the league rushed for at least 340 yards. I used that number because Minshew accumulated 344 yards on the ground last season. The results brought 136 instances, but there were players I couldn’t get 40-yard times from, such as Bob Davis from 1944 and Johnny Lujack from 1950. As a result, I decided on using the arbitrary year of 1999 for this piece. Why 1999? Well, 20 years of data is a reasonable sample size and 1999 was the first year when 40 times were timed electronically.

Here’s the list by 40 time:

NAME YEAR RUSH YDS 40 TIME
Lamar Jackson 2019 1206 4.34
Lamar Jackson 2018 695 4.34
Michael Vick 2006 1039 4.38
Michael Vick 2004 902 4.38
Michael Vick 2002 777 4.38
Michael Vick 2010 676 4.38
Michael Vick 2005 597 4.38
Michael Vick 2011 589 4.38
Kyler Murray 2019 544 4.38 (unofficial)
Robert Griffin III 2012 815 4.41
Terrelle Pryor 2013 576 4.41
Robert Griffin III 2013 489 4.41
Vince Young 2007 395 4.48
Tyrod Taylor 2016 580 4.51
Tyrod Taylor 2015 568 4.51
Tyrod Taylor 2017 427 4.51
Daunte Culpepper 2002 609 4.52
Kordell Stewart 2001 537 4.52
Daunte Culpepper 2000 470 4.52
Kordell Stewart 2000 436 4.52
Daunte Culpepper 2003 422 4.52
Daunte Culpepper 2001 416 4.52
Daunte Culpepper 2004 406 4.52
Marcus Mariota 2018 357 4.52
Marcus Mariota 2016 349 4.52
Colin Kaepernick 2014 639 4.53
Colin Kaepernick 2013 524 4.53
Colin Kaepernick 2016 468 4.53
Colin Kaepernick 2012 415 4.53
Russell Wilson 2014 849 4.55
Russell Wilson 2017 586 4.55
Russell Wilson 2015 553 4.55
Russell Wilson 2013 539 4.55
Russell Wilson 2012 489 4.55
Russell Wilson 2018 376 4.55
Russell Wilson 2019 342 4.55
Vince Young 2006 552 4.58
Rich Gannon 2000 529 4.58
Cam Newton 2017 754 4.59
Cam Newton 2012 741 4.59
Cam Newton 2011 706 4.59
Cam Newton 2015 636 4.59
Cam Newton 2013 585 4.59
Cam Newton 2014 539 4.59
Cam Newton 2018 488 4.59
Geno Smith 2013 366 4.59
Cam Newton 2016 359 4.59
Aaron Brooks 2001 358 4.59
Donovan McNabb 2000 629 4.64
Donovan McNabb 2001 482 4.64
Donovan McNabb 2002 460 4.64
Donovan McNabb 2003 355 4.64
Deshaun Watson 2018 551 4.66
Deshaun Watson 2019 413 4.66
Mitchell Trubisky 2018 421 4.67
Andrew Luck 2013 377 4.67
Andrew Luck 2016 341 4.67
Doug Flutie 1999 476 4.7
Steve McNair 2002 440 4.7
Steve McNair 2001 414 4.7
Steve McNair 2000 403 4.7
Tim Tebow 2011 660 4.71
Aaron Rodgers 2016 369 4.71
Aaron Rodgers 2010 356 4.71
Aaron Rodgers 2015 344 4.71
Josh Allen 2018 631 4.75
Josh Allen 2019 510 4.75
Shaun King 2000 353 4.77
Alex Smith 2015 498 4.78
Alex Smith 2013 431 4.78
Tyler Thigpen 2008 386 4.78
Alex Smith 2017 355 4.78
Dak Prescott 2017 357 4.79
DeShone Kizer 2017 419 4.83
Blake Bortles 2014 419 4.93
Blake Bortles 2018 365 4.93
Blake Bortles 2016 359 4.93
Josh Freeman 2010 364 4.97
Gardner Minshew 2019 344 4.97
Jeff Garcia 2000 414 NA
Jeff Garcia 2002 353 NA

81 times it’s happened, but by only 31 different quarterbacks.

Here’s the breakdown in terms of 40 time:

sub 4.40 2
4.4-4.5 2
4.51-4.6 11
4.61-4.7 5
4.71-4.8 6
4.81-4.9 1
over 4.9 3
NA 1

The sweet spot for quarterbacks is in the 4.51-4.6 range, but I want to focus on one in the over 4.9 range: Blake Bortles. He rushed for over 344 times three times in his career but, over his career, he rushed for over 300 yards in every season as a starter for the Jaguars

YEAR ATTEMPTS YARDS
2014 56 419
2015 52 310
2016 58 359
2017 57 322
2018 58 365

Very interesting. 

Now, for those of you who think Minshew’s 40 time is slow, it’s all relative. The average person probably couldn’t break the 5.0 barrier. More than likely, their times would be closer to 6. Here are the average times by position for NFL players:

POSITION 40 TIME
WR 4.48
CB 4.48
RB 4.49
FS 4.53
SS 4.55
OLB 4.65
TE 4.7
ILB 4.76
FB 4.8
DE 4.8
QB 4.93
DT 5.06
C 5.3
OT 5.32
OG 5.36

Minshew may be slow in relation to a wide receiver, but he’s close to average for the quarterback position, and he’s definitely faster than the average human. The Lamar Jacksons and Russell Wilsons of the world are outliers. That’s why they are elites at their position, but a 4.97 40 time isn’t a death knell for rushing production. 

Rushing production comes down to intent. If Manning wanted to gain more yards on the ground, he probably could have, but he would rather slice and dice defenses through the air. Players like Bortles and Minshew may not have the fastest 40 times, but they’ve shown that when the opportunity to run is there, they are more than willing. 

So, Minshew’s rushing production from last season may not be an outlier and should not be dismissed when evaluating his fantasy prospects for 2020. 

  1. El Zoro Hombre says:
    (link)

    Great deep dive into this topic.

    Alex Smith is a decent comp for Minshew based on your speed chart, and that Smith played under the Gruden system in 2018. Smith was on pace for about 300 yards rushing when his career ending injury happened that year.

    • Son says:
      (link)

      Thanks!

      Agreed that Gruden could making rushing more palatable for Minshew.

  2. everywhereblair

    everywhereblair says:
    (link)

    Ah, the famous QB rusher who was faster than Cam Newton, Josh Allen, Steve McNair, and Deshaun Watson…Rich Gannon!

    • Son says:
      (link)

      Good eye! That jumped out to me as well

  3. B_Don

    B_Don says:
    (link)

    It’s just Bortles though. He’s the only one!

    • Son says:
      (link)

      Do not disaparage THE ONE: Neo Bortles

      You’re right, though, B_Don. The odds aren’t in favor of Minshew continuing to produce on the ground, but we cannot dismiss the possibility that Minshew is the new Neo

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    Have my children

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Crap, I might be on the wrong messageboard

      • Son says:
        (link)

        Lol

    • Son says:
      (link)

      A Fatburger (king) with grilled onions and egg and a banana cream pie from Apple Pan and you got a deal

  5. Aaron Pags

    Aaron Pags says:
    (link)

    Are you breaking a 6.0 40?

    • Son says:
      (link)

      For 10 yards, maybe.

      When I was younger, I think I was closer to 5 than 6.

      I would’ve killed the 3-cone drill, though, with my crab-like agility

Comments are closed.