Utah State QB Jordan Love’s comp isn’t Pat Mahomes. It’s Daniel Jones.

Posted: April 15, 2020 in Jordan Love, New entries, NFL, NFL Draft

I am not a Daniel Jones fan, but he’s outperformed my expectations of him and has been much more high risk/high reward than I thought he’d be.

Strong mechanics – Jones and Love both have very clean footwork, tight throwing motion, have shown they can make anticipation throws. Both Jones and Love go through their progressions when WR1 is covered up.

Small school prospect with small school receivers – Jones and Love both had pretty unspectacular college stats at Duke and Utah State respectively. They play behind a line and with a receiving group that often gets overmatched by their tougher division rivals. Duke played Virginia Tech, Miami, Clemson. Utah State played Boise State, BYU and actual LSU.

Large frame, hands – Jones and Love have more “old-school” QB builds in an era where 6 foot quarterbacks are getting drafted first overall. Jones is 6’5″ with 9 3/4 inch hands. Love is 6’4″ with 10 1/2 inch hands.

High highs, low lows – One area of Jones’ tape that I got wrong was his willingness and ability to throw into tight windows. Jones threw 24 passing touchdowns in only 12 starts on a bad Giants team. That’s very impressive. He threw 12 interceptions in that time, not too bad for a rookie. He also fumbled the football 18 times in 12 starts. That’s highly alarming. Love hasn’t necessarily shown the same fumble problem as Jones, but he makes some impressive tight window throws on passes that look impossible to defend. He also throws some bad interceptions or bad misses. Against Boise State, Love tried to throw a quick pass to his wide receiver and the corner jumps the pass and brings it home for a pick six. Love led the nation in interceptions thrown in 2019 (17).

I feel Mahomes is not a great comp for Love because Mahomes had sloppy looking footwork and overall mechanics, but often produced a very impressive result throwing the ball. Love has consistently smoother footwork and cleaner throwing motion. Mahomes performed better than Love in college, though I would argue he had a better play caller in Kliff Kingsbury (current AZ Cardinals head coach) than Love’s had for most of his college career. Mahomes is also a much smaller quarterback than Love at 6’2″ with 9 1/4 inch hands (Love is 6’4″ with 10 1/2 inch hands). (This may not seem much smaller but in the world of NFL QB prospects it’s a substantial size difference).

My outlook for Jordan Love is very optimistic. I’ve waffled back and forth on him in the past. I feel that the quarterbacks he’s being compared to (Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow) are performing much better, but with much better talent and coaching than Love’s had. There are flaws in Love’s game, and he is no sure thing. He still hits his ceiling in moments in 2019 when he’s down 30+ points, even without Matt Wells running the offense. Burrow and Tua have never been part of a bad team, and the psychological impact of going from (one of) the best team(s) in college football to (one of) the worst team(s) in the NFL can derail a player’s career (see Johnny Manziel). Burrow himself has been vocal about wanting to be on a team that wins, and how he’s never been a part of a losing team. Love has been part of a winning culture in 2018, and a struggling one in 2019 with blowout losses to LSU and Boise State. Through all that process, he still kept his composure and positivity. Also, while I certainly agree that throwing interceptions is a bad thing, I’ll take that over checkdowns that go for 3 yards on 3rd and 15. Love found himself in dire circumstances repeatedly outmatched in 2019, he had to make risky throws to give his team a chance at success. If a quarterback is willing to risk harming his own stat sheet in order to give his team even the slightest chance at success, that’s someone you can work with.

The song of the blog is Halsey’s “Colors” (Stripped)

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