Utah State’s Jordan Love is one of the most intriguing QB prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s also a player who could be available for the New England Patriots at No. 23 in the first round, but there are at least three reasons the team wouldn’t draft Love.
According to most scouting reports on Love, he can be too much of a gambler with his arm. He will sometimes try to fit passes into minute windows and that led to issues in college. Love attempted to do too much on his own at times–especially as a junior when his offensive coordinator was changed and he lost some of the weapons he enjoyed in his second year.
Without a major shift, there is a chance the problem could become worse in the NFL against better athletes.
If there is one thing Bill Belichick will not tolerate from a quarterback it’s poor ball security. Unfortunately, that is one of the biggest knocks on Love. As a junior, Love appeared to regress significantly from his sophomore season, and that decline was primarily in the area of ball security.
Love went from throwing 32 TD passes to only six interceptions in 2018 to 20 TDs and 17 picks in 2019. That’s not the sort of season any QB wants to have in his last year in college, and it’s also not the ideal profile for a player the Patriots would traditionally target. If you compare what Belichick had to say about the last few QBs he drafted, ball security is a common them.
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Per Zack Cox of NESN, here is a breakdown on Jarrett Stidham, Nate Etling, and Jacoby Brissett:
On Stidham (April 27, 2019): “He’s a smart player who takes care of the football with pretty good arm strength.”
On Etling (April 28, 2018): “The one thing he didn’t do — he didn’t turn the ball over. You look at his career production, and this guy didn’t turn the ball over. I think (his touchdown-to-interception ratio) was 16-2 this year, a low percentage. He takes care of the ball, smart, pretty accurate thrower. There’s some good qualities and traits that we think we can work with and develop.”
On Brissett (April 29, 2016): “Two-year starter in the ACC, big guy, good size, athletic, strong, did a better job of taking care of the football this year, decent touchdown-to-interception ratio.”
Described as Having Boom or Bust Potential
Love has solid athleticism, a good arm and the ability to make tough plays, but based on some of his shortcomings, it is easy to see him as a guy whose ceiling might be really high, but whose floor might be far too low for the Patriots to risk a first-round selection.
Patriots aren’t exactly a team that invests valuable assets into high-risk players. Belichick and Co. have been known to take what most consider low-risk gambles on players with massive up-side like Randy Moss and Antonio Brown. Obviously, sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t. Going after a player like Love with a first-round pick–especially when the team has so many other areas of need–just isn’t the Patriot way.