It’s clear now in his third NFL season that Jordan Love has the goods. However, the supremely talented quarterback somehow lasted until the end of the first round. The Packers selected Love with the 26th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. What do his college stats and performance tell us about why he landed in the Packers’ laps?
Jordan Love Hails From Humble Beginnings
The “pro style” quarterback from Bakersfield, California, earned a three-star recruitment ranking out of high school. But there were folks along the recruiting path who saw potential in Love, claiming that the young Californian could be someone a mid-major team falls in love with and develops.
Which, coincidentally, is exactly what happened.
There’s an old saying in the NFL Draft or the trade market that “it only takes one.” Well, only one FBS program offered Love a scholarship: Utah State. He received offers from FCS schools in the Big Sky conference but chose his one FBS offer.
Love caught on quickly in Logan, Utah. After redshirting as a true freshman in 2016, he played in 12 games and started the final six as a redshirt freshman. Although he didn’t produce gaudy numbers or a particularly impressive touchdown-to-interception ratio, he set freshman records for Utah State.
Yet, it was his redshirt sophomore season that put Love on the NFL Draft map. He completed 64% of his passes, threw for 3,567 yards, 32 TDs, and just six interceptions.
Love eventually set his fair share of school records during his three-year career, including career total yards of offense (9,003), career 300-yard passing games (12), and single-season completions (293), attempts (473), and touchdown passes (32).
However, his junior year wasn’t as strong. Love’s completion percentage dropped, and he nearly threw as many interceptions (17) as he did touchdowns (20.)
Love’s Shaky Draft Cycle Landed Him in Green Bay
Love couldn’t parlay his outrageous sophomore season into another one as a junior. His tape was marred by poor decisions, which led to those 17 interceptions.
Nevertheless, his talent was evident, even in a class including Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Tua Tagovailoa.
NFL Network Draft Analyst Daniel Jeremiah said, “When you talk about the decision-making being concerning, that is absolutely true, but when you go look at the video and study this kid, he’s got more talent than any other passer in this entire draft.”
The inconsistent decision-making landed Love much lower than the three aforementioned quarterbacks but also put him in an isolated situation sitting behind a future Hall of Famer.
That unique situation allowed Love to develop the mental side of the game in the shadows, while also learning from another supremely gifted passer.
Although things haven’t been perfect for Love and the Packers in his first year as a starter, he’s come along swimmingly as of late. His fadeaway throws and rubber-band arm make him incredibly dangerous off-platform, and he’s commanded Matt LaFleur’s offense well down the stretch in 2023.
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