Jordan Love: New England Patriots NFL Draft Targets

Jordan Love
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The New England Patriots could probably use another quarterback. As of this posting, the team only has 2018 fourth-round rookie Jarrett Stidham and longtime backups Brian Hoyer and Cody Kessler under contract. Hoyer and Kessler are known mediocrities at the position, while Stidham showed some promise in the 2019 preseason. However, he’s anything but a sure thing at quarterback, and New England might want to bring in another young player with upside. If they do, then Utah State’s Jordan Love should be on New England’s short list.

New England Patriots NFL Draft Targets: Jake Fromm

New England Patriots NFL Draft Targets: Jordan Love

The first thing that jumps off the tape with Love is his absolute cannon of an arm. The redshirt Junior has a rocket and is capable of making just about any throw a quarterback would ever need to make. He’s more than just a strong arm, as Love also has the ability to throw the ball with touch and drop the ball in the delicate windows between linebackers and safeties.

One can feel confident about Love being as good as the system he’s in. The Utah State product can adequately read a defense and deliver a strike to an open target. He wasn’t the best in tight-window situations, but that may have been due to dealing with a new supporting cast in 2019 (more on that later). Additionally, Love is hard to bring down, as Pro Football Focus states that only 15.9% of his pressures turned into sacks. This is obviously a good thing and implies that Love has strong pocket presence and is hard to bring down.

Statistically speaking, Love took a massive step back in 2019. Last year the California native completed 62.0% of his passes for 3,402 yards, 7.2 yards-per-attempt, 20 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. One year earlier, the quarterback competed 64% oof his passes for 3,550 yards, 8.5 yards-per-attempt, 32 touchdowns, and six interceptions. This dramatic drop in production could worry some, but most of that can be easily explained away. Over the course of the 2019 offseason, Love lost his coaching staff and a significant amount of his offensive weapons. With such a dramatic change, it’s easy to see why his numbers took a nosedive last year.

The Bad

Jordan Love has the arm talent to make some of the most beautiful throws you’ll ever see, but that gives him some unjustified confidence. Love makes some of the worst decisions imaginable and puts the ball in harms’ way at a dangerous rate. His interception rate skyrocketed in 2019, but these mistakes were present in 2018 – he just got away with it more.

Love is good when everything goes according to plan, but struggles to do the right thing when the situation starts collapsing around him. Part of the reason he turns the ball over too much is because he’s one of the worst in the class at handling pressure. According to Pro Football Focus, Love had just a 49.4 passing grade when facing pressure. The film backs up this assessment, as Love clearly tries to do too much and oftentimes makes poor decisions in order to avoid a sack.

Ultimately, Jordan Love has one of the largest discrepancies between his floor and his ceiling. Based on tools alone, he has the ability to be as good as anyone in this class. His arm is second to none, he can throw with touch, and he can read a defense and adequately operate within a system. However, he’s way too careless with the ball and can’t seem to make things happen when the situation around him starts to crumble. If Bill Belichick feels he can coach away his flaws, then he’d be a great developmental prospect. However, most mocks project Love to go off the board in the first round, which is probably a little too early for a guy like him.

New England Patriots NFL Draft Targets: Jake Fromm