Chargers Draft

LA Chargers debate: Justin Herbert vs Jordan Love

PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks warms up during pregame warm ups prior to the start of an NCAA football game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks warms up during pregame warm ups prior to the start of an NCAA football game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

LA Chargers debate: Justin Herbert vs Jordan Love, differences

The biggest difference between these two is their mentality and playing style. It’s very obvious when you watch Love on tape that he has a gunslinger mentality. He’s going to trust his arm on every throw and just let it rip.

I mentioned the LSU game previously, which I thought he actually played very well in, but he also had other multi-interception games against opponents like Wyoming and Wake Forest where I thought he played well despite throwing those interceptions. That’s because he has that killer instinct mentality where he doesn’t let one mistake get him down.

That being said, there is the other side of that coin: He threw 17 interceptions last year. His processor is sound but his decision making is can sometimes be very questionable. It’s also important to take into context the change in offensive systems he went through and the lack of a positive supporting cast around him.

I personally do believe that his error are fixable with NFL coaching and NFL talent. Whoever does end up drafting him is going to have to do a good job putting him in a position to succeed where he’ll be able to rein in that gunslinger mentality and help him reach his potential.

"Accuracy is something that you have or you don't"

@JReidNFL on Utah State’s Jordan Love pic.twitter.com/WoYYzk3Old

— PFF (@PFF) February 26, 2020

Herbert, for all his physical upside is the polar opposite. He is safe and protective of the football, almost to a fault sometimes. Head coach Anthony Lynn has said several times how he values protecting the football, and Herbert certainly does that. He has only thrown 23 interceptions in a career 43 starts, compared to Love’s 29 interceptions in his 32 career starts.

Herbert has been praised for his decision making all throughout the draft process, but I kind of disagree with that praise to a certain extent. He rarely pushes the ball down the field in an aggressive fashion, which limits the kind of upside he has.

Coaches can help someone like Love hone in that gunslinger mentality; Ken Wisenhunt (for the most part) did a fine job of doing just that with Rivers over the years, but it may be more difficult to teach someone to go from safe to aggressive, which is why I personally feel like Herbert’s upside is limited.

Will Herbert be the reason a team loses games? No, he won’t. That being said, we saw with the San Francisco 49ers this year what happens when you have a safe quarterback with limited upside leading your team.

They made the Super Bowl and had a fantastic season, but if Jimmy Garoppolo even had a little more playmaking ability in him they probably would have won that game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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