2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Jordan Love
School: Utah State University
Weight: 220 pounds
Ironically, Love’s biggest area of needed improvement will be the easiest to fix. If you take out drops, which Aggie receivers did occasionally suffer, he throws a catchable ball. Armed with excellent velocity, Love does take the steam off shorter passes, instead of firing it through the target. On top of that, he displays touch while on the run. Where Love struggles is the forcing the ball into places too tight for even his arm. With reps and under the eye of a sound quarterback mind, Love can quickly improve.
Love throws from an overhand release and long arm delivery. At the NFL, holding the ball up slightly higher when he separates his grip will give his release a bit quicker time. Repetition of this can be fixed in mini-camp.
While Love may not blur by defenders, he gains positive yards and will run for the first down. In the open field, Love’s flexibility with gain hidden yards. More importantly, his pocket activity allows his receivers to gain a bit more separation. Plus, that also prevents blitzes from getting home with regularity. On bootlegs, Love will feast on defenses. As a result, defenses will need to account for this play and the elements surrounding it.
Love seeks the big play. He will stand tall in the pocket, knowing the hit is on the way and he will deliver the ball down the field. Sometimes, Love will get himself in danger with vertical throws into coverage. Yet, a strong coach can mold that trait without suffocating it.
After six seasons, Derek Carr reached his ceiling. In 2019, the Raiders saw the best version of the passer. Forget 2016. That version seems like a lifetime ago and before the injury. In all candor, the leg injury that Carr suffered that December, apparently sapped all of the remaining assertive gameplay. Over time, Carr lives for the safe approach. Opponents will openly critique his tentative nature and actually gameplan for it. Once word of that spread years ago, teams stop respecting Carr’s deep ball. While he is not broken, Derek Carr sits atop of his ceiling. As a result, the Raiders are going to see inconsistent moments of brilliance tethered to too many checkdowns. By nature, Jon Gruden casts the image of an aggressive coach. That looks difficult when your signalcaller refuses to comply.
While not as mobile as Jalen Hurts, Love shows a higher passing ceiling. His arm appears a bit stronger. Granted, his college completion percentage will not wow anyone. However, the recent successes of Lamar Jackson (57%), Jacoby Brissett (59.5), Josh Allen (56.2%), and Drew Lock (56.9%) sets the standard for grooming, despite accuracy fixes. If the Raiders select Love on Day Two, no one should quibble. Love’s ceiling is higher than Derek Carr’s, based solely on his penchant for challenging defense. Love shows a natural feel for extending vertical plays with his legs. Like Jalen Hurts, Love should sit and learn for a year while backing up Derek Carr.