The Green Bay Packers have been one of, if not the most fortunate franchise in all of football since the day Brett Favre took the reins of QB1.
To have Hall of Fame quarterback play spanning nearly three decades is a luxury most teams could only dream of. Over the last 30 years the Packers have the third best winning percentage in all of the NFL, trailing only the Patriots and Steelers.
Everyone remembers the ugly transition from Favre to Aaron Rodgers, and as we know history often repeats itself. The Packers have once again found themselves at an impasse. The franchise selected the heir apparent to Rodgers in the first round of the 2020 draft, a selection highly criticized by many around the NFL. It wasn’t all that long ago many fans felt the same way about the team drafting Favre’s successor, a move that helped set up the future success of the franchise.
I’m of the opinion that the worst time to be in the market for a quarterback is when you need one. The transition to the NFL is incredibly difficult, especially for a quarterback. Not to mention NFL teams often pull the plug well before a player gets the time to truly develop and study the game. While it may not be a player’s preference to get drafted and develop behind a proven starter, you can’t deny that it has its benefits.
Jordan Love is by no means a finished product, but he possesses one of the highest ceilings of any quarterback drafted in recent years. Love spent very little time under center while at Utah State, playing in a spread offense, which is quite different from the system the Packers currently run.
The opportunity to watch and learn from Rodgers cannot be understated. The chance to pick the brain of a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer while familiarizing himself with the playbook will give Love the best chance to succeed.
The Good (why I believe in Jordan Love)
Jordan Love can make every single throw you want a franchise quarterback to make.
- Can throw to all levels of the field
- Thread the needle with a bullet pass
- Throw a touch pass with finesse
- Use different arm angles naturally
- Impressive ball placement
- Excels in off-platform throws
- Has good placement with his throws
- Has the arm strength that allows him to make throws into tight windows
- Off the back foot/off balance
On top of the gifts he possesses as a passer, Love is also an exceptional athlete. By no means is he a running quarterback, but he is in fact mobile. When the pocket collapses, Love has the ability to extend plays with his legs and pick up first downs with ease (think Rodgers in his younger years).
With that athleticism comes what I believe to be one of the strongest and most appealing facets of his game, improvisation. Some quarterbacks struggle when their first or second read isn’t there, and that’s understandable.
That’s not who Love is, he’s completely comfortable going off script and making plays outside of the structured offense. This is how you beat a great defense with an even better game plan. Sometimes you have to catch them slipping. It’s also difficult to evaluate in practice, which leads me to believe that Love will be more of a gamer than anything else.
For a college quarterback, one unique skill that stood out on film was his ability to draw defenses offsides with the hard count (wonder why they’d covet that). And who better to learn the nuances of how to improve than the king himself, Aaron Rodgers. Another thing that really stands out about Love is that he will stand in the pocket even if he knows he’s going to take one on the chin, and deliver the ball. There is something to be said about that.
I sincerely believe Love has the highest ceiling of any quarterback taken in his draft class. I want to make it clear that I don’t necessarily believe he’s the best quarterback from his class, because that statement would be baseless at this point.
I just think that all the tools are there for him to succeed. This kid has an ELITE arm, the ball just jumps off his hand effortlessly and he can throw the ball a country mile. He already does a lot of things you simply cannot teach, and now he has the time to sit and learn. That’s why I’m betting on Love.
Now it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, there is a reason Love fell in the draft. Love has multiple negative tendencies that need to be cleaned up before the Packers will be comfortable committing to him for the long haul.
- Struggled to read defenses at times
- Doesn’t know when to let a play die
- Doesn’t throw the ball away as often as you’d like
- Locks onto his first read too often, perhaps even pre-determined at times
- Plays hero ball from time to time
- Tends to rush things
Thankfully, all of those things are tendencies that can be broken with time. That’s why I think the Packers were the perfect landing spot for Love. He needed time, and may still need some additional seasoning before he’s ready to take over as QB1.
Not to mention I believe Matt LaFleur runs a very quarterback-friendly system that fits his skill-set perfectly. The negatives are things you can fix, talent is something you can’t teach. This was a gamble the Packers felt they had to take given the immense amount of natural ability Love has.
This may be controversial but I liked the Love pick then, and I like it even more now. The timing of the selection was better than most thought and he fell into a near perfect situation. The worst time to be looking for a quarterback is when you need one, and the Packers decided to play chess instead of checkers.
The back-end of round one is not often where teams feel they can select someone to become the next franchise quarterback. So, if you can pair your first-round pick with a fourth-rounder to move up and select a player you think can lead your team for the next decade, it’s a no-brainer.
I believe in Jordan Love, you should too.