Going into the first night of the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers held the 30th overall pick. Many experts expected the Packers to take a skill-position player, as Aaron Rodgers was looking for some more help on the outside. Outside of Davante Adams, the Packers have struggled for reliable options for their future Hall of Fame Quarterback.
“We haven’t picked a skill player in the first round in 15 years, so that would be kind of cool,” Rodgers said on the PatMcAfeeShow. It was evident that their franchise quarterback was asking for a receiver early in the draft.
With six receivers already off the board, it made sense for the Packers to take the seventh receiver. Towards the end of the first round, the Packers traded up for the 26th overall pick from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for the 30th overall pick as well a fourth-rounder.
Tee Higgins out of Clemson University and Michael Pittman Jr. out of the University of Southern California were two of the best available wideouts, and it made sense for the franchise to get a receiver to pair up with Adams.
Next thing you know, the Packers had a flashback to the 2005 NFL Draft where Aaron Rodgers was selected in the first round despite having future Hall of Famer Brett Farve on the roster. With the 26th overall pick, the Green Bay Packers shocked millions of fans and selected QB Jordan Love out of Utah State.
This move comes as a surprise, but it can absolutely pay off for the Packers. Love was the fourth-highest rated QB according to Mel Kiper’s final mock draft heading into draft night, and Love has the intangibles to be an elite passer in this league.
“Love has good size, a strong arm, above-average mobility and big hands,” Former Scouts Inc. and ESPN featured draft analyst Steve Muench said about the 21 year-old quarterback. The best quarterback Love has been compared to is Patrick Mahomes, who has shown a consistent ability to throw it down the field in plenty of different situations.
Those qualities show that if developed in a system that fits his playstyle, Love can be an effective passer who can throw on the run when escaping out of the pocket.
On the downside, one knock on Love is his touchdown-interception ratio. In 2018, Jordan Love did a very good job at limiting the turnovers by throwing 32 touchdowns while having only 6 interceptions.
The Utah State Aggies finished that season off with a New Mexico Bowl game victory over North Texas allowing them to be ranked 22nd in the final Associated Press rankings.
Love decided to stay for his redshirt-junior season, but turnovers became more of an issue in the 2019 season. He finished the year with only 20 touchdowns and a staggering 17 interceptions. Love had far less talent to throw to in his junior year, but it still has to be a concern going into the NFL.
So, did it make sense for the Packers to move up in the draft to select Jordan Love? This pick was certainly a risk, but it is one that could set the franchise up for success in the future. Aaron Rodgers is only 36, and there is no doubt in my mind that he still has a few more productive seasons in him.
Going into the draft, I wasn’t sure if Love could start from day one, but this situation will allow him to learn from an eight-time Pro Bowler. Rodgers has solidified himself as one of the best quarterbacks of this generation, and Love will certainly learn a lot as his backup.
One concern I have with this pick is the lack of depth at the wide-receiver position. Besides Adams, the Packers have Allen Lazard and Devin Funchess as their next two guys on the depth chart. Lazard had a solid season in 2019, and Funchess struggled in his first and only season with the Indianapolis Colts.
This draft class has been considered by many to be one of the deepest in recent years, and that is no different at receiver. Six receivers came off the board in the first round, and it could have been a few more if certain teams like the Packers fulfilled a different need. To me, the Packers need to find another weapon for Rodgers in the later rounds of this draft.
Jordan Love was one of the most intriguing picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, and certainly had the capability to go at any point in the first round. At 21 years-old, Love is a very raw quarterback, but if grounded correctly, he has the potential to be an elite passer in a pass-heavy league.
Love will have the opportunity to learn from Aaron Rodgers, which will absolutely help his career moving forward. This will give Love a greater possibility to be polished as Rodgers gets closer to his 40s.
This pick by the Packers caught plenty of people off guard, and will be judged both while Love is a backup and a starter. Rodgers and the Packers are in need of weapons, and the success of the team in the next few years will determine if they made the right pick at #26 in this draft.
Love is a prospect that has the potential to be a franchise quarterback, and it will be interesting to see what his career turns out to be like as a Green Bay Packer.