The Jordan Love pro comparisons are all over the map with some viewing the Utah State quarterback to Patrick Mahomes while others see him as Blake Bortles.
Utah State quarterback Jordan Love is a projected first round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Love had an up-and-down career with the Aggies. Love was better in 2018 when he had more talent around him with which to work, but his numbers and performance suffered in 2019 when the talent disparity was more apparent. Love also struggled with interceptions, including 14 when throwing in tight windows.
But it’s not all bad, otherwise, he wouldn’t be a projected first-rounder.
Love can be streaky and I just illustrated the bad elements of his game, but the good is what has teams raving about his upside and potential when surrounded by talented players.
That’s why the Jordan Love pro comparisons are wide-ranging from the two quarterbacks who just played in the Super Bowl to one of the bigger quarterback busts of the century.
Jordan Love pro comparisons
- ClutchPoints compares Love to Bengals quarterback and former second-rounder, Andy Dalton.
- The Draft Network compares Love to former 49ers quarterback and former second-rounder, Colin Kaepernick.
- NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compares Love to former Jaguars quarterback and former No. 3 overall pick, Blake Bortles.
- PFF doesn’t have a pro comparison for Love, but they caution “buyer beware.”
- Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier writes Love is the ultimate boom or bust prospect.
- ESPN’s Todd McShay compares Love to Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo.
“He’s so talented but he’s inconsistent and it’s the same thing you see on tape. The only consistent part of his game is how inconsistent he is with his accuracy,” McShay said. “His decision making and his accuracy have got to improve.
“Those are the two most important aspects of the quarterback position. A lot of people said the same thing about Patrick Mahomes coming out of college out of Texas Tech and we’ve seen what he’s been able to do. ”
That’s a huge separation between being the next Mahomes who already has an MVP season when he threw 50 touchdowns and a Super Bowl MVP in his two seasons as a starter. He’s on a Hall of Fame track.
Bortles, meanwhile, flamed out of Jacksonville and may never start another NFL game in his career, if he’s fortunate enough to be signed to a roster.
The comparisons to Mahomes are really unfair to Love. It’s like comparing basketball players to Michael Jordan or LeBron James or baseball players to the next Mike Trout or Randy Johnson.
What people see in Love that makes them throw out the comparison to Mahomes is the wild arm talent. Love has the ability to make ridiculous throws look routine. He has the ability to do the unthinkable. That type of confidence in his arm is both good and bad. It’s good because he can make highlight-reel throws but that confidence where he thinks he can make every throw leads to 14 interceptions in tight windows, the most in college last year.
Decision making can be improved at the next level, although those who watched Jameis Winston with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may disagree. Winston struggled with interceptions and his decision-making at Florida State and it continued in the NFL.
Will Love be able to correct his decision-making and improve his accuracy as well? Asking a quarterback to get better in both phases is asking a lot, especially if you’re taking this player in the first round — and likely in the top half.
The good usually outweighs the bad and the team that ultimately drafts Love will believe in the best-case scenario and think he can be the next Mahomes. If Love takes a sizable tumble in the draft, it’ll be as a result of teams believing the worst-case scenario of him being the next Bortles is more likely than not.
I tend to lean toward the latter. Love clearly has great arm talent, but so did Bortles, and we all know how that worked out. Having a great arm isn’t enough to be a great NFL quarterback. The long list of draft busts is littered with prospects with great arms. Remember JaMarcus Russell? He may have had the biggest arm anyone’s ever seen and he’s the biggest bust this side of Ryan Leaf.
When prospects struggle with their decision-making and accuracy in college, it doesn’t bode well for them to magically improve in those two crucial areas when playing at a faster pace and against tougher competition.
Love isn’t going to be playing against Mountain West competition. He’s going to be playing against Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald and Von Miller chasing him down. He’s going to be throwing in tight windows with Stephon Gilmore, Jalen Ramsey and Tyrann Mathieu closing in on his passes.
I wouldn’t want my favorite NFL team drafting Love. But if your favorite NFL team does draft Love, there’s nothing against hoping against all hope he can be at least a poor man’s version of Mahomes.