He was called the most polarizing prospect in the NFL draft, a thriving quarterback with enough skill to be a playmaker similar to Patrick Mahomes and enough question marks to be a disappointment similar to Jake Locker.
Professional scouts love the size of Jordan Love junior from Utah State (6 feet 4 inches, 224 pounds), mobility and arm strength. They see tight spirals delivered by a variety of arm slots, 50-yard wrist bombs in narrow fleeing windows, an ability to make off-schedule games to the next level …
Then they see the regression of his second season, when Love made 267 of 417 passes for 3,567 yards and 32 touchdowns with six interceptions, until his junior year, when he completed 293 of 473 passes for 3,402 yards and 20 touchdowns with a Football Bowl Subdivision -high 17 interceptions, and red flags are raised.
Did Love have a hard time playing for a first-year coach in a second-level conference with third-party receivers? Or did last season reveal weaknesses in decision-making and accuracy that will be further exposed in the NFL?
There are no easy answers, which is why love could be caught in the top 10 picks or move on to the third round.
“The biggest differences for me were obviously the sales, they went up,” said Love during the NFL. “I was trying to do too much and force the ball into the field, thinking I could throw in tight windows. There were situations where I could have checked but I was trying to play this game. ”
Love is not afraid of its faults. He savored the opportunity to review what he calls his “intercept tape” during interviews.
“You have to break it down and do it step by step – what was my reading and why I threw the ball,” said Love. “It was a great opportunity to give them your perspective. These are 17 learning moments. I made these mistakes. Some, I have to learn from it, and I can’t keep letting it happen. “
Love, who grew up in Bakersfield, worked in southern California with private head coach Steve Calhoun in an effort to be more consistent.
“You watch my movie, there are parts where I throw an incredible throw, and the next thing you know, I miss a swing course during a test,” said Love. “To be more consistent in all my throws, my footwork in my pocket, falling back, breaking the defenses … I’m trying to be a better quarterback.”
Many of Love College’s highlights have occurred in broken rooms in which his athleticism, backyard football instincts and elusiveness have dropped the jaws of fans and talent assessors, leaving some wondering how Love could compete with a certain Super Bowl winning quarterback.
“People often ask me that,” said Love, when asked who he would compare to. “I would say Patrick Mahomes, based on the talent of the arms and what he can do. I’m not saying I’m Patrick Mahomes. Calm down. But Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, guys who can play.”