Would Utah State quarterback Jordan Love make sense for the Green Bay Packers in the first round?
The Packers don’t need a quarterback now.
A few years from now, they likely will.
Packers fans know about the benefits of drafting a future starter before he needs to play any regular-season games. Aaron Rodgers is proof of that. He got to sit on the bench for three years, developing his game and learning from now-Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre.
If the Packers get the opportunity to draft Rodgers’ successor before No. 12 walks away from football, it would be a wise move for the same reasons as back in 2005.
Patrick Mahomes is another example of how it can work out. Alex Smith started ahead of him in his rookie season. He learned a lot from Smith and head coach Andy Reid, helping him become the NFL MVP a year later, his first as a starter.
The Packers don’t need to draft a quarterback, but what if a player they like falls?
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a great article this week on the very topic. According to Silverstein, the Packers were planning to host multiple quarterbacks prior to the draft, including many potential first-rounders.
One of them was Jordan Love out of Utah State.
Love could be gone well before Green Bay’s first pick at No. 30, but it’s also entirely possible he will fall to the bottom of the first round.
His name has come up on a few occasions when discussing the possibility of Brian Gutekunst drafting a quarterback. FanSided’s Patrick Schmidt has Love to Green Bay in his latest mock draft.
Gutekunst said publicly he’d be willing to draft a quarterback early. But would Love make sense?
He’s a player who might not be ready to play immediately, as Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com noted in his rankings of the top 50 players in the class:
"“Love is a raw prospect who will need some time to develop. There is risk with him, but the payoff could be huge,” Jeremiah wrote."
Needs time to develop? No problem in Green Bay. Rodgers will be running the show for at least a few more years.
High upside? Well, with a few years to learn from one of the best passers in NFL history, Love would have every chance to live up to his potential.
Drafting Love would be a risk, especially given the Packers’ other needs. But the same was true in 2005 when they selected Rodgers. The plan wasn’t to select a quarterback but when Rodgers fell, then-GM Ted Thompson saw it as too good an opportunity to pass up.
He was willing to sacrifice taking a player who could help immediately for a win-now team, focusing on potentially finding long-time success with Favre’s successor. Thompson hit the jackpot, and Rodgers is now on his way to the Hall of Fame too.
If Love is there at No. 30, it would be a bold move to make the pick. And it would come with huge risk. Gutekunst could pass up on a star receiver in the hope of finding a future starter at quarterback. But if Love reaches anything close to his potential, the Packers could be set up for many more winning seasons even after Rodgers retires.
If Love is there, or any other top QB prospect for that matter, it would be a tough decision for Gutekunst. And not one I’d want to make.
It could be a huge swing-and-miss. But if he got it right, the Packers could hit a home run for the third time in a row and land another future star at the most important position in sports.