Jordan Love had a strange college career statistically. He was much better in his sophomore season than his junior season, leaving fans questioning his talent heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. In 2018 Love threw for 3,567 yards, 32 TDs and 6 INTs. The following season he threw for 3,402 yards, 20 TDs and 17 INTs.
His success in 2018 surged Utah State to an 11-2 record, which would hurt him the following year. The team’s success led to head coach Matt Wells taking a six-year deal to take over the head coaching duties at Texas Tech. Love went into 2019 with a whole new coaching staff and lost many of his key weapons from the year before. Before I pile up on excuses. I will say Love did make plenty of mistakes in 2019, but overall he still looked like a player who will make an impact in the NFL.
“Arm Talent” is a fun way to say, good at throwing footballs. Love had his fair share of turnovers, but it was not ball placement or arm strength that got in his way. He made some bad decisions which led to interceptions. Arm talent in my eyes is arm strength plus accuracy. He has the ability to make every throw in the book. I believe he has the best arm in the class, Burrow included. His combination of strength and ball placement is unrivaled in this 2020 NFL Draft Class.
Typically, I cut up my own videos to highlight different topics. This time I will defer to Harris Highlights who did a great job featuring some of Jordan Love’s best throws. It’s hard to watch Love locked in and not see the Patrick Mahomes comparisons.
Needs Good Coaching
Jordan Love’s development will be largely defined by his landing spot. He needs to go to a team that can improve his ability to process information during a play. He often reads one defender and is picked off by a freelancing defensive back that makes a play on the ball. If he is not locked in on one defender, he is locking in on one read, as he does not progress to his second or third option nearly enough. Love also has a tendency to force the ball into a tight window because he passed on an easier throw. The impressive part is that he often made that tough throw which bodes well for his arm talent and overall potential.
There are a few situations that could maximize Love’s potential – which is very high. I hope he ends up with an offensive guru like Josh McDaniels or Kyle Shanahan. Jordan would also benefit from sitting behind an established quarterback. Wherever he goes, Love needs to be spending a lot of time being mentored by the highest level of coaches and players available. Patrick Mahomes got to spend a year behind Alex Smith while being coached by Andy Reid. Lamar Jackson spent most of his rookie year behind Joe Flacco while John Harbaugh was adjusting his offense to be built around his new scrambling MVP. Taking some time out of college to develop behind the scenes is extremely valuable for a quarterback. Love would benefit massively from that opportunity.
Forces Passes Late in Game
Jordan Love threw a lot of risky passes in 2019. One situation that led to a lot of bad decision making was being behind late in the game. When he knows that his team needs to score to win the game, Love tries to force the ball downfield. Jordan stops throwing the ball away or taking what the defense gives him. He starts throwing into coverage and trying to will his way towards the end zone. What makes players like Tom Brady so great is that they are cool under pressure and elevate their game when the game calls for it. Love has the talent to win the game with his arm. He just needs to settle down and make the right throws.
Watch Love versus Wake Forest in his final drive down 38-35 with just over a minute to go. Love makes numerous bad decisions before ultimately throwing the game sealing interception. He made two great throws in this drive (one dropped) but tried to throw the ball into coverage repeatedly to gain the chunk play.
Jordan Love might have the highest potential in the draft. He has the ability to throw from all angles as well as throw on the run. He is extremely accurate and has elite arm strength. Coaching will be very important for Love as he does need to develop mentally. He has been working with Jordan Palmer who has been complimentary of Love’s ability to take coaching and process information. I think Love would benefit by sitting out for at least the majority of his rookie season and take the league by storm in year two.
Love has drawn the comparison to Mahomes as I mentioned earlier, which is a little misleading. He has a similar scrambling play style that results in awesome highlights. He also creates throwing angles that resemble Mahomes. That said, just because he is compared to Mahomes does not mean analysts are projecting 50 touchdowns a year from the Utah State product. I hope he lands in the right spot and we do see a little Mahomes Magic in Jordan Love.
If you like my breakdown of Jordan Love, check out my analysis of some other top quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft: