With the long wait that having the 30th pick entails, the Green Bay Packers decided to move up four spots in a trade with the Miami Dolphins (#26 for #30 and #136) to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.
While the need for a quarterback was not pressing, Green Bay was noted to have been high on Love throughout the pre-draft process. Being able to add Love to the team in a very similar fashion as Aaron Rodgers back in 2005, head coach Matt LaFleur and company now have their developmental QB project to work on for the future.
The board fell in a very unfortunate way for the Packers, as they saw an early run push wide receivers farther down the board that could have allowed GM Brian Gutekunst move up and snag one of the falling pass-catchers. While the team did not move up the board to catch one of those guys, they instead settled a QB.
The board presented the Packers with players like linebacker Patrick Queen, offensive tackle Josh Jones, and wide receiver Denzel Mims, among others, but they decided to pass on addressing more pressing team needs and instead make a move geared towards addressing the future.
For Love, his 2019 season was decently disappointing, even with his touch on deep balls and above-average pocket awareness. The 6’4” QB ran a 4.74 40-yard dash and boasts 10.5” hands, a whole 1.5” bigger than first overall pick Joe Burrow’s hands.
The need to add a first-round QB to the team makes it tough to understand, especially until the prospect makes his way onto the field and earns valuable playing time. However, the thought process here (hopefully) is that Love will have an eerily similar acclimation process to the NFL that Rodgers did, sitting behind the incumbent starter and waiting his turn until he is needed to make that climb.
The Cheesehead TV Draft Guide lists Love as being a prospect that offers “the perfect heir apparent to Rodgers” with solid arm talent, even with his smaller school experience not having allowed him to play against above-average competition. If Love can reign in his issues, which can be boiled down to facing constant pocket pressure and inconsistent offensive play, then this first-round pick will be proven worthy in a few seasons.
The criticism, on the surface at least, will be warranted, as Packer fans everywhere would be looking for an immediate impact addition to their team to help supplement their NFC Championship Game appearance. And while Love looks to be a better backup QB (at the moment) than incumbent second-stringer Tim Boyle, the impact that the team will have may not be seen for a few seasons.
NFL Player Comp – Blake Bortles:
What an unfortunate comparison.
Bortles came out of college as a prospect that many thought could lead the Jaguars to postseason success, especially having been selected third overall. While the circumstances surrounding Love are obviously on a lower level than that of Bortles, Love will be asked to be ready to step in if needed, but not in a starting role.
Love’s accuracy is the core of his downfalls, as his progression and transition from ‘see it’ to ‘throw it’ is not quite at the level that you would want for a collegiate quarterback making that jump into the pros, and according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, that delayed reaction is concerning, and even though offensive turnover led to a bout with not being able to trust his offensive weapons, Love has “self-made flaws” that categorize him below the likes of Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert in this year’s draft.
The intrigue that surrounds Love is exactly what helped propel him into the first-round discussion, and with LaFleur’s affinity for working with QB’s to help address their flaws, Love fits into that part of the plan. However, the team’s consistent and apparent need to address variant elements of their team to almost stray away from making their current postseason will infuriate fans to the point of wondering why they constantly set their hopes for a Super Bowl appearance.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23