The Green Bay Packers have not gotten much of a chance to show off the growth of 2020 first-round quarterback Jordan Love beyond the preseason, but the defenders that face him in practice seem to think quite highly of him and what he will accomplish once he is finally turned loose on the NFL as a starter.
Packers All-Pro linebacker De’Vondre Campbell was recently asked about Love’s growth while co-hosting an episode of USA Today’s Clubhouse Live on November 7 and didn’t mince words about how talented he believes the young quarterback has become.
“He’s a starting quarterback,” Campbell said of Love during the November 7 episode of Clubhouse Live, a weekly Packers-focused show run through the USA Today Network. “He’s better than a lot of quarterbacks, a lot of starting quarterbacks.”
Campbell wasn’t the only one with high praise for Love’s abilities. Packers safety Dallin Leavitt — who is in his first year with the team — also said he feels like playing against Love in practice helps the defense prepare better each week because he gives them “a real look” at the quarterback spot, which isn’t always the case with backup/scout QBs.
“I think Jordan’s a great player, I think he’s a great teammate,” Leavitt said as a guest on Clubhouse Live. “I’m not in the offensive meetings, but I can see the way the ball comes out of his hands. I can see the way that he’s decisive playing against our defense. I mean, I don’t know about y’all, but I think we’ve got a pretty good defense, and he does a really good job for us in practice, gives us a real look and it’s pretty impressive. He’s done some pretty impressive things.”
Packers Have Decision to Make With Jordan Love
Love has only started one game since the Packers traded up to draft him in 2020, mostly because of the healthy and strong play of four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers. With the Packers currently struggling to win games, though, minds have begun to wander toward the future, where the team will have to make a decision about Love’s fifth-year option and general place with the franchise moving forward.
For Packers fans, it is hard to determine whether Love is a viable option for the future based on the limited amount of reps he has actually gotten to take in games. He made his first career start against the Kansas City Chiefs last season and was unable to keep their seven-game winning streak alive, but he was also asked, on short notice, to go into one of the most challenging road environments (Arrowhead Stadium) in the league and outduel star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Not exactly the ideal conditions for a quarterback’s first NFL start.
The Packers will have to decide by May 3, 2023, whether to pick up Love’s fifth-year option for the 2024 season and won’t be able to make the decision lightly with Rodgers’ newly-signed contract set to increasingly burden their salary cap. Of course, the manner in which Rodgers handles his future will also be an important component — as he has mused about retirement in each of the last two offseasons and could once again revisit the topic of hanging things up in 2023.
At this point, though, the Packers are still the only ones with a clear picture of what they have in Love.
Will Love Start Any Games for Packers in 2023?
The Packers have spent the first half of the 2022 season figuring out that they are not who they believed themselves to be coming into the year. A defense that appeared to be top-tier on paper has been disappointing for the majority of the first nine games, and Rodgers and the offense have been stagnant at best as mental errors pile up. There is still time to fix the issues and turn things around, but the window is surely closing after they dropped their fifth straight game to the Detroit Lions this past weekend.
Could that mean more exposure for Love before the season is over, though?
That’s not to say that Rodgers deserves to be benched. He is the back-to-back NFL MVP, and even when he is playing below his standard, Rodgers is still a better bet than a former first-rounder who has been waiting in the wings for his chance to shine. If the Packers find themselves eliminated from the playoff race with several games to go, though, it could be in their best long-term interest to hand things over to Love.
The Packers only have about a 5% chance of making the playoffs heading into Week 10, according to Playoff Status, and they will see that percentage drop to 2% if they lose to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and fall to 3-7. There are other factors in play around the NFC that could shake things up, but right now, the odds favor early elimination for the Packers — at which point the Packers could decide to test Love instead of Rodgers.