With the 24th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints will have a tough decision to make. One option is drafting for the present, a player to help bolster the roster for what could be quarterback Drew Brees’s last ride. Linebackers Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray would represent that mentality. Another option is to draft with the future in mind. The quarterback class in the 2020 draft is deep, and drafting a top option like Jordan Love would represent the decision to keep eyes on the long-term.
Love has been projected as a first to early second-round draft pick, and it is conceivable that the signal caller could still be available when New Orleans is on the clock during the 24th pick. The Saints have been one of the teams that has shown heavy interest in Love throughout the draft process, and if available, it would be tough seeing New Orleans pass on Love.
The Utah State product started 32 games in his college career, and was the starter for two full seasons during 2018 and 2019. Love was prolific during his time at Utah State where he threw for a career 8,600 yards, 60 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. His work ethic and mentality allowed him to break several passing records at Utah State to include passing yards and touchdowns in his historic 2018 season. Furthermore his athleticism allows him to effectively carry the ball, while extending plays. This led to Love scoring nine rushing touchdowns during his time in college, seven of which came in his 2018 season.
The Saints are reportedly one of those teams doing their homework on Jordan Love. https://t.co/eZU6zLAkVE— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) April 11, 2020
Love brings more to the table than just eye-popping passing yardage and athleticism. Leadership and a hard working personality allow him to develop relationships and inspire teammates and coaches. These ‘intangibles’ are what help Love play up in a lot of team’s minds. It takes more than just athleticism and raw talent to succeed in the NFL.
As with any player, Love has his weaknesses. Interceptions have been an achilles heel in his game, throwing 29 of them in the last three seasons, in which 17 came from the 2019 season alone. In all fairness, the majority of Utah State’s offensive coaching staff changed after the 2018 season, and Love was forced to work with a brand new coordinator during his final year in college. That being said, many of the interceptions stem from not understanding the tempo of the game, while not fully grasping defenses. Love has been able to make up for that with keeping plays alive with his legs, and his incredibly strong arm.
The quarterback represents the quintessential “boom-or-bust” NFL prospect, and it just depends on which version of Love shows up. The quarterback has an incredibly high ceiling but will need time to develop his inconsistencies. A team that has a coach that understands and can develop the position would be most suitable for the Utah State signal caller. Many have coined Love as a “poor man’s Patrick Mahomes” because of his potential, but also because of the inherent risk team’s will incur by using a first-round pick on him.
Love could be the potential future at the position for the Saints once Brees decides to hang it up. Head coach Sean Payton would undoubtedly have a field day with Love’s arm, and athleticism in future seasons. But, would New Orleans pass on Queen, Murray or potentially wide receiver Justin Jefferson to draft Love if he were available?