2020 NFL Draft: Saints, Packers among six teams to speak with Jordan Love, per report

While most of the attention leading up to the draft is being given to Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Love is also primed to shake up the early portions of the 2020 draft.

Love, the third-ranked quarterback (behind Burrow and Tua) in CBS Sports’ prospect rankings, has recently spoken with the Chargers, Packers, Saints, Raiders, Dolphins and Colts, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The 19th best player in CBS Sports’ rankings, Love was projected to land with the Jaguars in CBS Sports draft analysts Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso’s most recent mock drafts. Jacksonville currently owns the No. 9 and No. 20 overall picks.

The Chargers, who are in need of a quarterback after letting Philip Rivers sign with the Colts in free agency, should be in position to land Love with the No. 6 overall pick. The same can be said for the Dolphins, who currently have the No. 5, 18 and 26 overall picks. And while they have been linked with Tua since last fall, the Dolphins may decide to stay put with the fifth overall pick and risk missing out of Tua if they feel confident in selecting either Love or former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who is also being projected as a first-round pick.

Las Vegas, like Miami, also owns multiple first-round picks at No. 12 and No. 19. While they already have Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota on their roster, the Raiders (who reportedly had a recent virtual meeting with Herbert, as did the Chargers) have remained open to the possibility of selecting a quarterback in the first round. 

While the Colts are without a first-round pick, the Saints and Packers own the No. 24 and No. 30 overall picks, respectively. While there’s a chance either Love or Herbert could fall to them late in the first round, both teams will likely have to trade up if they are going to have a shot at selecting either quarterback. That would be a significantly risky move for both teams. New Orleans could use the pick to fill their void at linebacker, as LSU’s Patrick Queen (who the Saints selected in CBS Sports’ Monday Mock Draft 2.0) may be available when the Saints are on the clock. The Packers could also go linebacker but should also be looking to upgrade at receiver, as this year’s class is loaded with talented wideouts that could eventually help Aaron Rodgers win his second Super Bowl ring.

After being an afterthought for most of his college career, Love’s draft stock soared after his impressive performance during February’s NFL combine. Love’s combine was so impressive that an anonymous NFL coach called him “a poor man’s Patrick Mahomes,” the 2018 league MVP and reigning Super Bowl MVP. Another evaluator was impressed with Love’s demeanor while comparing him to Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who, in his first year as a full-time starter, led Buffalo to a 10-6 record and AFC playoff berth. 

There are tangible comparisons one can make between Love and Mahomes. They’re similar in size, with the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Love being slightly taller than Mahomes, who checks in 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. Their combine results are also similar. Mahomes ran a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash while posting a 30-inch vertical jump and a 114-inch broad jump. Love ran a 4.74 in the 40 while recording a 35.5-inch vertical jump and a 114-inch broad jump.

When comparing their playing styles, both quarterbacks excel at making accurate throws outside the pocket. While neither one is considered a scrambler, Mahomes and Love possess superior athleticism that enables them to break containment while making throws many other quarterbacks can’t. Like Mahomes, Love has displayed remarkable accuracy on his deep ball, one of the traits that will serve him well at the next level. 

Also similar to Mahomes, Love will also have to show that he can have success in the NFL against far superior defenses. While Mahomes’ detractors pointed to Mahomes’ success against Big 12 defenses, similar things are being said about Love, who mostly played against Mountain West defenses.

In terms of their intangibles, Love has shown similar leadership skills to that of Mahomes, whose ability to will his teammates back from big deficits was on display during all three of the Chiefs’ postseason wins. While talent is obviously important, the ability to lead is another key determining factor when looking at how successful a young quarterback can be.

Regardless of the comparisons, Love is surely looking to carve out his own niche at the next level. But if he achieved success similar to what Mahomes has enjoyed so far, he probably won’t complain.

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