Jordan Love may not have had the best numbers during his last season at Utah State, but that isn’t going to stop a team from taking him in the first round. The Patrick Mahomes comparison has been thrown around a lot and that might just be enough to convince a team to take him early. He definitely helped his chances with an impressive showing at the NFL Combine on Thursday.
Love showed great speed for his size and strong deep-ball accuracy. He struggled a bit on shorter passes, but teams are going to want to air the ball out more after seeing what the Kansas City Chiefs did in 2019. The Las Vegas Raiders have a quarterback, but Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have made it clear that they’d at be least open to the idea of upgrading the position. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, there’s a good chance the Raiders are interested in Love with their first pick.
“I would keep an eye on the Vegas Raiders,” Rapoport said. “They’re a team that sound like they like him a lot. They obviously have said nice things about Derek Carr, but seem to be open to upgrading. Having Jordan Love land at 12 with Vegas is certainly something to keep an eye on.”
If the Raiders feel like they need their own version of Patrick Mahomes, Love would probably be their best option. However, the possibility remains that he’s off the board before the team picks.
Love May Not Fall to 12
The Raiders aren’t the only team that was present for Love’s impressive Combine showing. There are possibly 6 or 7 teams that could be interested in drafting a quarterback before Las Vegas picks and that’s not even talking about teams that might try to trade up. Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert figure to be the first three quarterbacks taken.
That said, a team could fall in love with Love’s upside and take him ahead of Herbert. The Raiders probably won’t trade up. They already don’t have a lot of draft picks and Mayock values his draft capital. If Love is going to be a Raider, he’s at least going to have to fall to the 12th pick. As the draft gets closer, we should get a better idea of where teams value the quarterback.
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Mike Mayock Isn’t Completely Sold on Love
According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Mike Mayock has “reservations” about Love. His high interception numbers in college are a big red flag.
“He throws a lot of interceptions, and he is very raw in terms of what he is getting from the sideline,” Mayock said on Tuesday. “He is reading off his wrist guard. So, like a lot of college players, he has a long way to go. And you have to factor that into what his ultimate value is.”
Tafur also reported that the Raiders are high on former Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. Like Love, Hurts has a lot of upside and would probably need to sit for a while. However, he’s projected to go in the third round. That would be a much cheaper gamble for the Raiders. If Las Vegas truly feels that Love is going to turn into the next Mahomes, then they need to go after him. That said, the team needs to be careful with their first-round picks.