RE-coupling: Packers Take jordan to Love Island
It was the shock of the first round – we will probably look back on it as the shock of the draft. The Packers traded pick 30 and a fourth round pick to move up to pick 26 and select their quarterback of the future, Jordan Love from Utah State. The move is oddly reminiscent of when Rodgers himself was drafted by the Packers. Incumbent legend Brett Favre was entering the twilight of his career, and without Rodgers’ draft day fall the Packers wouldn’t have drafted a quarterback. History has a funny way of repeating itself; if Love has anywhere near the success that Rodgers has then this pick will be seen as a success.
Many expected the Packers to add an offensive weapon for Rodgers with the pick, however this has never been the MO of this front office. Brian Gutekunst is a legacy GM who has been in the building for over 20 years. In the last 15 years he has seen two offensive skill position players taken in the first round; Love and Rodgers. The Packers have a way of doing things and that includes striking with a pick if a quarterback you like is available late in the first.
Win Now and in the Future?
I am a Packers fan and an optimist, not always an easy combination. This team has seemed to fall short of its potential year after year in my adult lifetime. It has so often felt like they were one player away. The last few seasons have been different. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been the top-two quarterback he was early in his career. He hasn’t been bad but it has felt like Rodgers won’t take risks in fear of throwing interceptions. Some of that is on the receiving corps; outside of Davante Adams it is a rough group. Adams had just under 1000 yards in only 12 games last season. That number could easily top 1300 next season. If UDFA Allan Lazard can continue to contribute then the Packers are only one pass catcher away on offense. That need can easily be addressed on day two in a deep receiver draft.
One hopes that this will light a fire in Rodgers. The Packers legend and future first ballot hall of famer is a hyper competitive individual who thrives when he is told he isn’t good enough. This pick may well say to Rodgers that the team in charge of the Packers are beginning to think he isn’t good enough any more to run the show in Green Bay. This team lost four times last season, but three of those losses were beatdowns in which they were outclassed. That isn’t all on Rodgers, but as the team figurehead it will do the roster good to show that no-one is untouchable. Expect Rodgers and this offense – who seem like they would run through walls for number 12 – to be back with a bang in 2020.
Love's Perfect Situation
Quarterbacks like Jordan Love are an interesting evaluation. The highs are enticing, with fabulous deep throws that would wow anyone watching. And he has the athleticism to pick up yards on the ground when necessary. However our own Head of NFL Draft Content Simon Carroll noted in his scouting report of Love that he, “Fails to see subtle adjustments from defenses and often throws head scratching interceptions as a result.” Si also noted that Love operated almost exclusively in the shotgun in college. Two years of sitting and learning behind one of the most cerebral quarterbacks to ever play the game is a fantastic opportunity for Love to develop into the best passer he could possibly be.
No, Rodgers won't be Traded
From the moment the pick was made twitter began sharpening its knives. Rodgers was already on his way out of Green Bay and heading to New England to join up with Bill Belichick. That isn’t going to happen, at least not for the next two seasons. Rodgers still has four years remaining on his deal. A deal which Green Bay cannot get out of until after the 2021 season, and even then Rodgers would carry a dead cap number of $17 million.
The clock is ticking: Rodgers has two seasons to win another Super Bowl and Jordan Love has two seasons to show he is ready to take over as the starter. Matt La Fleur will be hoping that this move will push Rodgers to take more risks with the football as he attempts to reclaim that brilliant swagger that powered the ‘run the table’ period in 2016, when Rodgers was playing the position at the highest level. This move might not directly help them win a Super Bowl in 2020 or 2021, but it could lay the foundations for 15 more years of stellar quarterback play. Only time will tell…
HEAD Of ANALYTICS
Alex is the head of our football analytics division, a packers and texas longhorns fan alex is also one third of the college chaps team. Expect to see alex popping up all over the touchdown!