Utah State quarterback Jordan Love has officially declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. What does this mean for other quarterbacks entering the Draft this season, and how does that effect how other prospects stand?
Utah State quarterback Jordan Love has been heavily evaluated this season after a very successful sophomore campaign in 2018. It was considered a decline year for Love, who lost his head coach and most of his receivers to the 2019 NFL Draft during the off-season. Love has some great arm talent, and is mobile enough to move around the pocket as needed, extending plays and gaining additional yardage.
When you turn on Jordan Love’s tape, there’s no surprise why #Colts GM Chris Ballard has been keeping close tabs on him as the possible long term answer at quarterback. Special arm talent with superstar upside in Frank Reich’s system. pic.twitter.com/WTfaUzdwMs— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) November 25, 2019
He shows many great quarterbacking traits, similar to a young ex-Mountain West conference quarterback who currently plays in Buffalo (ahem ahem – Josh Allen). The thing that stands out about Jordan Love is the fact that he plays the position so naturally, a very rare trait.
In the play shown just above, look at Love’s ability to control his body movement. He ensures an accurate delivery is achieved simply by slowing down the rest of his body and prioritizing the movement of the release. That’s a rare gift.
Despite this, Love has shown a critical flaw – decision making. Love’s 2019 season was rocky at best. He has opened up a load of concerns to just how much he trusts his arm and how his decision making is altered by the trust in his abilities. In other words, some people are concerned that Love thinks that he can do more than he is actually capable of.
Jordan Love declaring for the draft fresh off a 17-TD, 16-INT season at Utah State is a BOLLLLDDDD strategy— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) December 11, 2019
Our very own Erik Hindenburg has a great scouting report out already that he put together that describes how most people view Love.
So why would Jordan Love declare for the NFL Draft this year?
The Tua Factor
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa appeared to be a prime prospect before dislocating and fracturing his hip against Mississippi State a few weeks ago. Now with his draft status in the air, some of these other quarterbacks are going to try to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Tagovailoa.
Think of it this way. If NFL teams are uncertain about the health and/or ability to draft a franchise-altering player like Tagovailoa, they start weighing their options. This means, in theory, Jordan Love will get more attention and consideration from NFL teams than he would have if Tua hadn’t gotten hurt. After all, Love was a guy who was considered almost a lock as a first round pick coming into the season. Even with a bad year, people are going to dive into his tape to try and discover where things went wrong for him. More attention. More eyes on his tape.
Because of the uncertainty of Tagovailoa even declaring this season, NFL teams in need of quarterbacks are already working their scouting departments on other options. Right now it looks like there is a good chance that Tua doesn’t go pro this season and stays another year at Alabama. Why would someone want to compete against him next year, alongside Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence?
Also, NFL teams know that it’s difficult in college to adjust to drastic scheme changes like the one that Utah State undertook by losing head coach Matt Wells to Texas Tech. That’s not even counting the fact that he lost two of his top three receivers, his tight end and starting running back over the off-season. Love still showed many of those traits we saw in 2018, and as a result NFL teams will probably show a little slack in regards to the program situation.
This means that we will probably see a couple more unlikely draft announcements as a result of the Tagovailoa injury. Someone like Washington quarterback Jacob Eason, a player who struggled this season, could potentially declare. Love’s decision might be surprising to some, but it’s really just downright common sense.
We will see how well it pans out for the Utah State product. It worked well for Josh Allen when he left Wyoming with many similar concerns across the board. Perhaps it will for Love as well.