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Packers draft bio: Jordan Love, quarterback, Utah State

Jim Owczarski
Packers News

With their first-round selection in the 2020 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers traded up to No. 26 overall to select Jordan Love, quarterback, Utah State. To do so, the Packers sent Miami their No. 30 pick and their fourth-round selection at No. 136.

PackersNews.com analysis

The Packers traded up from No. 30 overall to select Jordan Love, Aaron Rodgers' potential successor under center in Green Bay. Fifteen years after taking Rodgers with Brett Favre already cemented as the starter, the Packers did it again in 2020. Love is widely considered one of the more talented throwers in the draft, but struggled with accuracy and needs time to develop. Coming off an NFC championship appearance, the Packers clearly felt adding a franchise quarterback for the future was too important to pass up, and will have to address the 2020 team in later picks.

The Green Bay Packers picked Jordan Love of Utah State with their first round pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Measurables

Height: 6-4

Weight: 224

Hand size: 10½ inches

Key stat

61.9%

2019 completion percentage

Stats/Awards

  • Honorable Mention All-Mountain West (2019).
  • Holds three Utah State career records with 9,003 yards of total offense, 12 career 300-yard passing games and four completions of at least 80 yards.
  • Davey O’Brien Award Semifinalist (2018).
  • Holds eight single-season school records.

Role expectation

Brian Gutekunst kept three quarterbacks on the roster in 2018 and it is possible he does the same with Tim Boyle remaining as the primary backup as Love learns the pro game in a unique season where he will not have the usual on-field practice time to get up to speed.

The general manager said

In a late conference call, Brian Gutekunst spoke about his first-round pick: 

"Obviously he’s a nice-sized kid, he’s a really good athlete, he’s a natural thrower, he’s got a strong arm, can make all the throws, has the ability to create and make a lot of second chances to throw the ball. Obviously he had a whole new coaching staff come in, so that was a little bit new. A little bit different personnel around him. Certainly, he’s got to clean some of that stuff up. But we thought he had the kind of skill set that could play up here and will have a chance to be a pretty solid quarterback in the National Football League. ... We know how important that position is and I just think whenever you get an opportunity to add a player to that position you have to consider it. And we did."

On if he is Aaron Rodgers' successor and when Love will be ready to start

"I think that’s probably not a fair, I don’t think you can put that on him right now. Right now I think he just needs to come in and learn and try to become the best quarterback he can be. We did draft him in the first round, so we like a lot about him. We think he has a very good upside to become a starter in the National Football League. But we’ve got the best quarterback in the National Football League and we plan to have him for awhile competing for championships. I can understand the fan base and people thinking, ‘Why would you do this at this time?’ But I just think the value of our board and the way it sat, it was the best for the Green Bay Packers and we’re really excited to get Jordan here and get him in the door and learning our system."

On not helping the 2020 roster with an immediate contributor

"I’m not a big believer that you’re ever one player away. I don’t believe in that. And two, it was just really how the board fell. It was, you know, obviously if there was a game-changer type player at another position, we would have seriously considered that. We didn’t feel that there was, so we picked Jordan and were really happy to do it. But yeah, I think you can make mistakes thinking you’re one player away from anything."

On the plan to develop Love

"I spoke earlier about how hard it is to play quarterback in the National Football League, and Jordan’s got a lot to learn. Really, the plan is going to be for him to come in and learn Matt’s system as best he can and try to support his teammates and help this team get to where we’re trying to get to. Obviously, with where we took him, we think a lot of him and we think that down the road he certainly has all the ability to be a difference-maker at the position. But these things take time, and especially at that position. He’s got a lot of work ahead of him but if we didn’t feel that he was ready to put the time in, obviously we wouldn’t have taken him."

He said

Jordan Love met the local media via conference call late Thursday night. Here are some highlights.

On the fans not being very excited

"The way I take it is obviously they know what they’re doing with the Packers. They took a chance on me. For the most part, I’m coming in just ready to work. Outside opinions, they don’t matter to me, for the most part. Just ready to get in here and work.On what he can learn from Aaron Rodgers."

On what the the relationship with Rodgers will be like

"Yeah, I mean I’m not sure how that’s going to work. I’m going to get back here and learn as much as I can from Aaron. He’s an amazing player and I know I’m going to learn a lot from him. I’m not sure how that situation is going to work but like I said I’m just excited to be behind him and do whatever the team needs when I’m asked (called) upon."

On not being able to play for some time

"It is what it is. Coming into college my first year, redshirted. You didn’t play. You gotta work your way into that system. You have a lot of learning to do. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to take that time to be able to learn and grow as a player. When that time comes and I have to step into a game, I’m going to make sure I’m ready for that."

Nuggets

  • PFF gave him above-average grades for passing (76.5), intermediate throws (88.4), deep throws (87.1) and when facing no pressure (86.1) while having a below-average pressure grade of 48.4.
  • Graduated from Utah State in the fall of 2019 with a degree in human movement science.

Draftniks say

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah: “I don't know that he's ready to play right away, but that's a huge upside pick. And you give him a chance to develop that could have a huge payoff.”

Pro Football Focus: "Love’s decision-making was questionable all throughout the year, and he ended up ranking 101st in turnover-worthy play rate. He could hit an open receiver 20-plus yards downfield with ease, and that’s precisely the concerning part of his overall play. Most of Love’s best throws came in favorable situations, but when throwing into tight windows, he led the FBS in interceptions. His pocket presence was great at Utah State, but he failed to show he can truly create something out of nothing with his accuracy."

NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein: "Challenging evaluation for quarterback-needy teams balancing traits and potential against disappointing 2019 tape. Staff turnover and new starters across the offense are partly to blame for his regression, but self-made flaws in process were also concerns. Love's accuracy took a step back, and his delayed reaction from "see it" to "throw it" when making reads is troubling. He has the arm to stick throws into tight windows but needs better eye discipline and anticipation to keep windows open. His size, mobility and arm talent combined with his 2018 flashes could be a winning hand that leads a team into the future or a siren's song of erratic play and unfulfilled potential."

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