In a surprising move, the Green Bay Packers traded up to take Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with their first-round pick at 26 overall. This pick by general manager Brian Gutekunst has a lot of people scratching their heads. The Packers are preparing for life after Aaron Rodgers, but many think they didn’t get help for him for 2020. It depends on which side of the fence you are on but no matter what, the Packers plan on being competitive post-Rodgers and Love fits that mold.
The Packers Fell In Love With Their First-Round Pick
As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Love played in 12 games while starting in the final six for Utah State. In those 12 games, Love threw for 1,631 yards while throwing eight touchdowns and six interceptions. His real opportunity to shine was in 2018 when he had his best year at the school. In 13 games, he threw for over 3,500 with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing for seven touchdowns. Utah State had a different team around Love heading into his final season in 2019.
The football program had a significant turnover of the coaching staff, including the coach. They also only returned two starters in 2019 and one of them was Love. His top four pass-catchers left and almost all of his offensive line left as well. This led to a huge step back for the quarterback in 2019. He did throw for over 3,000 yards but only threw 20 touchdowns with 17 interceptions. A huge change is a big part of why he took steps back in 2019 but some of his mechanics were off as well. He has shown a lot of promise in his three years with Utah State.
As the 26th overall pick in the NFL Draft, you have to have a few good strengths and Love does. One of his big strengths is his deep ball. When he passes the ball down fields, it looks so effortless coming out of his hand. He can also throw it with ease when he is flushed outside of the pocket. Another thing Love does very well is that he can extend plays. He can keep plays alive by staying on his feet and escaping the rush and finding the best option. This sounds like someone we know in Green Bay already. Fans will love that part of his game but he isn’t always perfect.
As mentioned, he had a down year in 2019 for Utah State and that they had a program overhaul but he had some inconsistency to go along with that. His decision making wasn’t great and his accuracy went down. Reading defenses also wasn’t his strong suit and throwing off of his back foot a lot went into a lot of those bad decisions. Love tried to be too perfect when he threw the ball and that led to turnovers. His having to gel with new players and learn a new offense may have made him feel less comfortable so hopefully, that stuff can be easily fixed.
Green And Gold
Love being drafted at 26 overall has him as Rodgers’ successor in the next few years. When Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in 2005, he had to sit behind Brett Favre for three years before getting a chance. He was “mistreated” by Favre and the fans when he first came in but it made him the quarterback he is today. People love Rodgers now so it will take time for Love to get the respect but he will.
Jordan getting drafted by the Packers is the best thing that could happen to him. Not only can he learn from one of the best to ever throw a football, but he can also work on his skill and bring that championship mentality to Green Bay like quarterbacks before him. He may not have been your first choice with the first-round pick but give it time to prove himself before forming an opinion.
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