Packers: Five players 25 and under who will shape future of team
By Dillon Graff
1. Quarterback – Jordan Love – Age 22
Simply put, the Green Bay Packers believe Jordan Love is the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers.
It may not have initially been in the team’s plans to take a quarterback when they did, but the fact they moved up to take him shows how highly talent evaluators thought of Love’s potential. When a franchise moves up to take someone in the first round, they do so because they think that player has the potential to be a star. Jordan Love may not be a finished product, but the franchise believes he has the tools.
Love is a polarizing prospect for myriad reasons. His college tape is as hot and cold as you’re going to find in a first-round quarterback. The 2018 version of Jordan Love had coaches across the league salivating at the potential of the Utah State product.
As cliché as it may sound, he has all the arm talent in the world. Love has the ability to throw the ball 60 yards with the flick of his wrist, and it looks effortless. His deep ball seemingly has pinpoint accuracy, and he has the athleticism to improvise when the play breaks down, which the Packers clearly covet. Some of the off-balance throws he’s capable of making are what make him special. Love has all of the tools you can’t teach with a ceiling as high as any quarterback in the NFL.
Had it not been for his 2019 tape, Love would have been long gone before the Packers were in position to select him. In his junior season, his play on the field regressed significantly, and this is why scouts are so split on Love as a player. Love was constantly forcing passes that weren’t there and throwing errant passes trying to keep the play alive.
To play devil’s advocate, Utah State had lost four starting linemen, their top three receivers, their leading rusher, and their head coach from the season before. Now that’s not to make excuses for the decisions on the field, just providing a little perspective. Love was often under pressure and having to escape the pocket, but just didn’t know when to let a play die. It was an ugly year, yes, but all of the same WOW throws were still there.
The Packers’ front office clearly thought Love was a victim of circumstance and are betting on the player they saw the year before. I believe Love’s ceiling is sky high, however I do think he has a lower floor than fans are going to be comfortable with. If you take the time to watch his tape, Love has moments where he’ll remind you of Patrick Mahomes/Aaron Rodgers (yes, I know that’s high praise). Inversely, Love also will make throws at times that leave you scratching your head wondering what he possibly could have been seeing. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde if you will.
The Packers are playing Russian roulette with Jordan Love waiting in the wings, and the reason he is number one on my list is that his play on the field will either keep the Packers’ tradition of strong quarterback play alive, or send the team into a complete rebuild.
I personally believe that the Packers did the right thing drafting Love when they did. I think for him and the team to be in the best position to succeed, Love needed some seasoning, and who better to learn from than Aaron Rodgers. I am a believer in Jordan Love and think that fans will learn to love him when the time is right. This pick will define this front office, and likely the next decade of Packers football.