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Jordan Love vs. Every 2022 NFL Draft QB
The comparison between Love and the 2022 QB class is a scary one... for the 2022 QB class
How is possible that Jimmy Garoppolo could raise his late second round draft status by such a large degree after four years behind Tom Brady, but it only takes one bad start for Jordan Love to go from a first round pick to a media pariah?
One reason may be that the media didn’t think Jordan Love would be a first round pick in 2020 until the Packers traded up for him… and therefore the rest of the NFL probably agreed and has never viewed Love as a first round pick.
Responses to the pick were lukewarm and centered around the never-ending drama that is “Legendary Packers QB unsure he wants to play for Packers” again. But if teams saw Love like PFF saw Love—as a third round pick—then essentially right now he’s a “third-year Brian Brohm.”
Brohm was the 56th overall pick in the 2008 draft by Green Bay and at that point, he had about as much NFL playing experience as Aaron Rodgers did. He went one pick ahead of Chad Henne, who is still in the NFL, and Brohm lost the Packers’ backup job to seventh rounder Matt Flynn. Cut to 14 years later, the Packers are paying Rodgers $50 million per season and for now are stuck with Jordan Love as the backup.
That may not be the case for much longer, as Green Bay needs legitimate insurance behind Rodgers. But I’ve also said that the 2022 NFL Draft class is a historically weak one for quarterbacks. How does Love compare to them?
It’s closer than you think.
In the past, teams like the Packers, Patriots, and Eagles have felt that they could draft quarterbacks, develop them, and then flip them for a higher value down the line. For Love, who was a surprising first round pick, he was already starting at a loss.
Love was 21 at the time of the draft though and it was expected he’d get an entire pass for his rookie year in the league. Sure enough, Green Bay employed Tim Boyle as Rodgers’ backup and Love sat in third place for the entire season.
In 2021, Love spent his first offseason, training camp, and preseason as Rodgers’ backup, getting NFL game action for the first time last August. Preseason stats are useless, as is sharing one highlight play (that also perfectly exemplifies poor decision-making and form) but the general consensus of his exhibition debut was that the Packers had actually lost leverage against Rodgers.
At least they motivated him.
Winning back-to-back MVPs has something to do with Green Bay’s decision to give Rodgers a record $50 million salary at age 39, but if Jordan Love had an NFL season debut like Patrick Mahomes, then the Packers would’ve flipped the MVP for four first round draft picks. The contract figures for Rodgers and the compensation package received for Deshaun Watson guarantee that the bidding to trade for Aaron Rodgers would’ve dwarfed the overtures made for Watson and Russell Wilson.
In Week 9, Love started in place of Aaron Rodgers’ controversy against the Kansas City Chiefs, the 23rd-ranked pass defense by DVOA.
Even a mediocre start against the Chiefs could have made Love a tradeable asset. But in a world where Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo actually have NEGATIVE TRADE VALUE, Green Bay isn’t in the same position that the Cardinals were in three years ago when they flipped Josh Rosen to the Dolphins for a second round pick. Love now has put a little bit of tape on film and it won’t matter which way you spin it, NFL teams aren’t excited by the idea of giving him 65 offensive plays per game.
However, as bad as that all sounds for Jordan Love’s prospects as an NFL starting quarterback, does it really sound all that much worse than 2022’s crop of quarterback draftees?
What was Love as a draft prospect two years ago if not an earlier version of many of the names you’re seeing connected to the Seattle Seahawks and other QB-interested teams in the class this year?
As a sophomore at Utah State, Jordan Love went off for 64% completions, 8.6 Y/A, 32 TD and six interceptions; also rushing for seven touchdowns. His junior season was not impressive, as his completion percentage went down by two points, his Y/A went down by 1.4, and he threw 17 interceptions against only 20 touchdowns. Love didn’t rush for a single touchdown that year.
However, if you stack Love up against the top two quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft right now, he: is roughly the same age, is a better physical prototype, had similar college success stories, and has two years of NFL grooming and coaching.
Like Love, Malik Willis had a much better junior year than final year in college. He was only a starter at a non-major program, for lack of a better term. He threw way too many interceptions. He is entirely a projection and a developmental project who would need at least one, if not two years to sit behind a veteran… but he’s also two years older than Love was at the time of his draft, he’s four inches shorter, and he’s a worse all-around passer.
Kenny Pickett’s story is a little different. He had three full years as Pitt’s starter, throwing 13 touchdowns and nine picks as both a junior and a redshirt senior; he used his extra year of eligibility to dominate college football’s quarterback landscape, throwing 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions in the ACC. He’s also older than Jordan Love, a worse athlete, and only a few months ago Pickett wasn’t even considered worthy of a day two pick.
Going further down the list of 2022 NFL Draft QBs:
Sam Howell, 6’1, 218 lbs, 9/16/2000, Lance Zierlein comparison: Chase Daniel
Desmond Ridder, 6’3, 211 lbs, 8/31/99, weak arm strength and poor accuracy
Matt Corral, 6’2, 212 lbs, 1/31/99, 20 TDs in QB-friendly system
Like the other two before these three, Jordan Love is a better physical prototype than anyone of note in the 2022 NFL Draft. He probably has better arm strength and arm talent than anyone in this draft, except Willis.
Corral is only two months younger than Love. Ridder is 10 months younger. Howell is the youngest in the group, the only 2019 graduate to be involved in first round talks, but like Love, he only got worse as his college career went on.
Corral threw 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions at Ole Miss in 2020, then saw his completion percentage, Y/A, and touchdowns drop dramatically in 2021. His interceptions went down, his rushing touchdowns went up, but there’s not much evidence that Corral has an “NFL arm” and that he can develop into a west coast style pro quarterback OR a dual threat rusher like Josh Allen.
Howell came in as a five-star recruit three years ago and had 38 touchdowns against seven interceptions as a true freshman. If he had gone into the draft in 2021, Howell likely could have been in the running as QB2 or QB3 behind Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. But his third season was his worst season by far and Howell decided to test the draft out before his stock could drop any lower.
And if Ridder’s floor is even six or seven levels above Jordan Love’s floor, his ceiling is still 10 or 11 levels below Love’s ceiling.
THIS is the 2022 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks. And that guy I started writing about in the beginning is Packers second or third-string quarterback Jordan Love. Nobody wants to trade a day three pick for Love. Why would anyone spend a day one pick on any of these other comparable prospects?
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There is CONTENT-CONTENT-CONTENT for the Seahawks and the Draft. This morning ICYMI: The REAL STORY of why the Seahawks haven’t secured an offensive tackle yet.