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2020 NFL Draft: The allure of Jordan Love overlooks a lot of red flags

The Green Bay Packers shocked the draft world on Day 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft, trading up in the first round to select Utah State's Jordan Love, the big-armed small-school QB who we had ranked 76th overall on the PFF Big Board. The team followed up this surprising move with the curious selections of running back AJ Dillon in the second and tight end Josiah Deguara in the third. The team's overall haul earned a “D” grade according to PFF analysts' 2020 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams — the worst in the league.

[Editor’s Note: PFF's instant analysis on EVERY pick of the 2020 NFL Draft can be found here. You can also find all of our pre-draft and up-to-the-minute analysis categorized and readily available here. Get your copy of the PFF 2020 NFL Draft Guide today by clicking here.]

Initial reaction focused on how Aaron Rodgers might respond to the decision to draft an apparent heir to the Hall of Famer rather than add skill players to help the Packers push for another Super Bowl championship during Rodgers' final few seasons. PFF's Sam Monson argued over the weekend that the Packers' 2020 draft is effectively closing Rodgers' final Super Bowl window.

Whether that's the case or not, let's look into what Green Bay is getting in Love. First and foremost, a list that is long and not terrible distinguished: Twenty-two quarterbacks graded higher than Love on dropback passes (minimum 200 attempts) in 2019 — in the Group-of-5 conferences alone.

If we take out the games these teams played against superior Power 5 competition, Love’s grade rises a tick to 77.3 but still only ranks 22nd. Even during Love's breakout year in 2018 when he announced himself to the world of college football, he only ranked 16th. During Utah State’s near-upset of Michigan State in East Lansing — a highlight of Love's resume — he graded out at 74.8 on dropback passes, having notched three big-time throws against two turnover-worthy plays. He followed that game up with a horrendous 44.8 grade against New Mexico State the following week. 

Jan 25, 2020; Mobile, AL, USA; North quarterback Jordan Love of Utah State (5) runs from pressure in the second half of the 2020 Senior Bowl college football game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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