Looking Back at Jordan Love’s Career in the State of Utah, Where He Was Recruited, and More


Green Bay Packer Quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently tested positive for COVID-19. He’ll miss the Packers’ Week 9 game against Kansas City. And in his place, the former Utah State star and 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love will make the first start of his career. What brought Love to this point and can it give Green Bay a surprise victory?

Jordan Loves college career in the state of Utah

Today Love can say that he is one of the 64 best quarterbacks in the world. But in 2016 he didn’t have that reputation to boast. Love was just a three-star recruit in the 2016 class. Love is the nation’s 62nd caller and has made few offers and eventually signed with the Utah State Aggies.

Love was a Redshirt in his first year in the state of Utah but stepped in during his newbie Redshirt campaign. At the time, no one would have predicted that Love would be a first-round pick. He was up and down like any young QB will be. In 12 games he completed 129 of 235 passes (54.9%) for 1,631 yards, 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. But clear potential has been lost in these inconspicuous numbers. And Love showed more of it every season.

As a sophomore sophomore, Love broke out and became a legitimate one NFL draft Outlook. The Utah State QB increased his completion percentage to 64% and increased his yards per attempt from 6.9 to 8.6. Most impressively, Love threw 3,567 yards, 32 TDs and only 6 INTs.

By comparison, the final season of Love was a disappointment. He went down statistically, completing 61.9% of his passes for 3,402 yards, 20 scores, and 17 picks. But by then enough of his physical talent had reached the tape. And he had more than piqued the interest of the NFL teams.

Jump from the state of Utah to the NFL Draft

In total, in the state of Utah, Love completed 689 of 1,125 attempts for 8,600 yards, 60 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He also ran for 409 yards and 9 points over those three years. But more importantly, Love proved he had the knack for potentially being an early pick.

Love earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl in the 2020 offseason and also tested extremely well at the NFL Combine 2020. There Love measured at 6’4 “, 224 pounds and logged a 4.74 40-yard shot, a 35.5-inch vertical jump, and a 118-inch long jump.

Love 2020 NFL Draft Profile Recap

Physical characteristics made up a large part of Love’s appeal. Not only was he extremely athletic for his size, but he was also very talented in arms. In the state of Utah, Love often demonstrated the strength of his arms to push the ball down into narrow windows. He also demonstrated the ability to generate sufficient speed outside the platform with several different launch angles and trigger points.

Love’s arm talent and off-platform skills, combined with his athleticism and creative capacity, resulted in great potential. But there were also concerns about love.

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As one might expect from his stats, Love was inconsistent from a decision-making standpoint. When he played in the state of Utah, the lack of talent often forced him to resort to “hero ball” and take dangerous risks that often backfired. Love also struggled to constantly throw with anticipation and was sometimes mixed to read the field.

Love entered the draft cycle as a high-upside quarterback in need of more mental refinement. But that physical advantage was enough for him to be selected on the first day of the NFL draft. With the 26th selection of the NFL Draft 2020, the Packers chose Love.

Love’s previous career with the Packers

Round one quarterbacks are often expected to start fairly quickly. In fact, all five first-round signal callers from the 2021 NFL draft have had at least one start in their young careers. However, Love has not had a start in his career.

There has been speculation that Love’s pick marked the near end of the Rodgers era in Green Bay. Rodgers responded to that speculation with a 2020 MVP season. While Rodgers was thriving on the field, Love stepped away from it and waited. He played two games and made 5 out of 7 passes for 63 yards, but that was the extent of his rookie season.

All in all, maybe it would have been best for Love to sit behind Rodgers when he started his career. Rodgers’ strong play provided Love with an opportunity to sit behind the scenes and learn. Now that he’s preparing for his first career start against Kansas City, he should be a lot better prepared than he was in 2020.

Some quarterbacks need an immediate fire attempt to adjust to the pace of the NFL. Nonetheless, love could benefit if it is put into action. Just as the pace of the NFL requires acclimatization, it can also ruin QBs who rely too heavily on physical traits and are not refined enough mentally. Love matched that description in the last off-season. Maybe he is better now, if he has studied for a year and a half.

Can the sophomore year QB lead the Packers to a surprise win in Kansas City?

The Packers are 7-1 and the Chiefs are 4-4. Yet the Chiefs are 7.5-point favorites at home against Green Bay in the face of news that Love is about to start. It’s a representation of the uncertainty surrounding Love’s first launch. Rodgers recently gave the Cardinals their first loss. Love, meanwhile, has no track record in the NFL.

However, Kansas City’s pass defense has been below average that year. They have allowed the sixth most pass yards in the league to date and also given up the third highest net yards per attempt. With Davante Adams returning, Love will have the usual firepower in his arsenal – with the exception of TE Robert Tonyan, who suffered an end-of-season injury in Week 8.

It is difficult to say what the exact effect of love will be. One thing is certain: he’s not Aaron Rodgers, and he’ll almost certainly have some “young quarterback” moments.

At the same time, Love, with his athleticism and arm talent, has what it takes to make some groundbreaking games. Did he learn enough in his time on the sidelines to use it effectively on his first NFL start? We’ll find out.

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