LA Chargers: Why you should be selling low on Jordan Love
By Jason Reed
The LA Chargers are likely going to add the team’s next franchise quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft, with the most likely outcome being that the team selects the quarterback with the sixth overall pick.
There are several different avenues the Chargers can stroll down and it all depends on what happens in the first five picks. There is a realistic possibility that Justin Herbert will be the best available, however, Tua Tagovailoa could slip or both Herbert and Tua could be selected.
The most polarizing quarterback prospect has been Jordan Love, as he has a lot of potential and many analysts and fans alike think that he could be this year’s sleeper quarterback.
While Jordan Love could be a diamond in the rough, the LA Chargers should be selling low on his stock.
Love has a lot of highlights about his game. He has a fantastic arm, perhaps the best in the draft, and an athletic style of play that fits today’s NFL. He can make throws on the run that other quarterbacks cannot make and has a quirky style about the way he can make these throws, similar to Patrick Mahomes.
And quite frankly, if Patrick Mahomes was not in the league, Love’s status heading into the draft would likely be lower. However, we are seeing some of these plays on tape that are Mahomes-esque (keep in mind against the Mountain West, not even a Power-5 Conference) and it is easy to fall in love with the high upside.
And while it is undeniable that Jordan Love has an extremely high ceiling he also has the lower floor of any quarterback that will be taken in the first round. For every great aspect of his game there is a flaw.
The hope is that those flaws could be worked out with better coaching and a better team around him while sitting for a year behind Tyrod Taylor. I don’t think that will be so easy.
Love threw 17 picks last season and it was not just because he was surrounded by an entirely new offense at Utah State. He threw the highest number of interceptable passes last season among the highly touted quarterbacks and did not showcase great decision-making nor accuracy.
More times than not it was the decision-making that was the result of the interception but there were throws that were not great, either. Some were underthrown to linebackers, while others were thrown with too much air underneath them, allowing corners to jump the route.
That leads to another problem I have with Love — he tended to telegraph plays under center and did not use his eyes as much as the other top prospects in the draft to shake off safeties. He did not have the quickest release under center as well.
The mixture of telegraphing throws, not using your eyes to deceive and a slow throwing motion is going to lead to interceptions in the NFL. Yes, his supporting cast was not great, but the defenses he was coming up against were nothing close to an NFL defense.
Love also did not look great when Utah State’s plan A fell apart. There were instances that he would scramble and make something happen with a miraculous throw but oftentimes these throws were forced, with led to interceptions.
Those windows are going to be smaller in the NFL. Just having good arm talent is not going to be enough to beat NFL defenses.
There have been so many examples of quarterbacks with great arm talent that did not translate to the league — JaMarcus Russell, Blake Bortles, Josh Rosen. Josh Allen has exceeded expectations but a large part of that is because of his running ability, which Love has, just not to the extent of Allen.
To be fair, for every Bortles there is a Deshaun Watson, but Watson still had something that Love didn’t. Not only did he have better numbers in college, but he had better collegiate coaching, played better collegiate teams and had more valuable experience.
Love is going to be a project and while drafting the right quarterback is an extremely difficult thing to do, the LA Chargers should only be looking at Jordan Love as a “break in case of emergency” option.