If Love is able to show The flash that he had in 2018, then he could be the quarterback to lead a team like the Patriots into the future.
It's that time of year again where we start to look at possible prospects that might interest Bill Belichick for the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots have a few needs that they have to address including quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, and Belichick needs to start thinking of his ageing safeties.
Today we are going to be looking at Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.
Love is projected to be a first round pick, but the impact he's going to have in the NFL has been up for debate. Some scouts and analysts believe that Love is going to be a starter in the NFL, where other scouts have compared him to Blake Bortales. If Belichick did decide to select Love, there is no guarantee that he would develop into the type of starting quarterback that the Patriots really need. But on the other side of the coin, Love has a pretty high ceiling, so even though Love is not a slam dunk prospect, there are still a lot of reasons that Patriots fans would be excited if Belichick decided to take him with his first round pick.
Love is built like a prototypical blue chip receiver. He's 6'4 and weighs 224 lbs, and he's very athletic.
Let's start by taking a look at his strengths. Love stands tall while he's in the pocket, and he is a smooth natural thrower. He keeps the ball tucked while he is scanning the field, leaving him less susceptible to being stirp sacked. His throwing style has been compared to Patrick Mahomes because Love is able to throw a tight spiral from a variety of different arm slots and angles. His short game needs some work, but Josh McDaniels would have a field day developing an offense that suits Love's strength. He is built primarily for midrange throws and deep balls. If the Patriots did decide to draft Love, Belichick would have to make sure to find him some speed at receiver to match his arm strength. A Phillip Dorsett like player with a little more strength would be an ideal partner for Love. He is a confident passer and he's able to attack inside of the hashes, and he's able to use his size and athleticism to escape the pocket when he's in trouble. Love has fantastic field vision and is able to use his speed to get out to the sticks, and deliver balls into tight windows on a dime.
With every strength, comes a weakness and Love is no different than every other prospect in this year's draft. As outstanding as Jordan Love's 2018 season was, 2019 saw a lack of consistency, and his production took a step backwards. One thing that Patriots fans and Bill Belichick are used to, is their quarterback getting the ball out of his hand very quickly, Love has a looping windup which is part of a slower operation time. Love also stares down his receivers too often, telegraphing where he's going to throw the ball. One area of true concern was during the 2019 season Love recorded six games with multiple interceptions, including three pick sixes. Love is described as a much better man coverage quarterback, and has below-average decision-making against Zone looks, this has allowed the coverage to swarm him due to his lack of anticipation. As strong as Jordan Love's arm is, he only completed 31.8% of his deep throws in 2019. He stands in the pocket too long and doesn't slide to different launch points enough, and when he's not spending too much time in one spot, he doesn't have the anticipation to get out of the pocket quick enough. Love can improve by using his eyes to hold safeties longer, and he has issues bringing in snaps from off target maps leading two fumbles.
According to NFL.com it is difficult to give a proper evaluation on Jordan Love. During the 2019 season which was a big step back from Love's 2018 season, Utah had massive turnovers at the coaching positions, and they had new starters across the offense, which could be used to partially blame his regression on. That doesn't mean that Love wasn't with his own faults, he made too many self-made mistakes in the process. The most concerning attributes in 2019 compared to 2018 was that Love's accuracy took a big step back.
If the Patriots were to select him, Josh McDaniels would need to work with him to improve his discipline and anticipation. Love could turn into a very erratic quarterback with unfulfilled potential like former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. But if Love is able to show The flash that he had in 2018, then he could be the quarterback to lead a team like the Patriots into the future.