First, there was the up-and-down season. Then there was talk of a possible transfer. And most recently came a citation for marijuana.
But, still, he’s got all the tools, scouts say.
Utah State junior quarterback Jordan Love is perhaps the most polarizing prospect in the 2020 NFL draft. He followed up a solid sophomore campaign with a below-average junior season, and yet, there he is, still seen as a first-round prospect by many draft evaluators.
— JLove (@jordan3love) December 11, 2019
“… There’s a boatload of talent there, and I wouldn’t be shocked if teams are quiet about their interest in him – like some were with Patrick Mahomes three years ago – because he’s such a wild card of an evaluation,” writes Albert Breers of Sports Illustrated.
The way Love closed out the season underscores the dilemma he presents to NFL evaluators.
Utah State managed a close win against Wyoming and a victory against a two-win New Mexico team to close out the regular season, sandwiched by a big loss to Boise State. During that stretch, Love completed just 57 of 100 passes for 683 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
Then Love closed out his collegiate career with a strong performance in the team’s 51-41 loss to Kent State in the Frisco Bowl in Texas by completing 30 of 39 passes for 317 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT.
Love declared for the draft not long after.
Love’s inconsistency could be his undoing at the next level, according to a new Pro Football Focus analysis. Aside from putting up lesser numbers his redshirt junior year, PFF noted his struggles in “tight window” passes and his overall accuracy, particularly when faced against average or below-average defenses.
“… Love hits his open receivers perfectly with a rocket or a feathery drop in the bucket,” writes PFF’s Anthony Treash. “That and his athletic frame is a large reason why he’ll likely be among the first five quarterbacks taken in the draft. Other than Love’s ‘potential’ and ‘perfect quarterback frame,’ he has shown very little to warrant that though. If you’re going to vie for your team to draft Jordan Love, do so with caution.”