Running Back, Stanford
5-8 7/8, 200
40 Time: N/A
A track star and four-star recruit out of Wake Forest, N.C., Love totaled 1,008 yards a
nd five touchdowns on just 140 carries (7.2 average) from 2015-16 as an uber-efficient complement to Christian McCaffrey.
As a starter in 2017, he erupted for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns on 263 carries (8.1 average) to become a Heisman finalist. He returned to school despite being a possible first-round pick but struggled through injury in 2018 (739 yards on 166 carries, 4.5 average) and tore his ACL in the regular-season finale.
Love is hoping to be back on the field this summer for training camp after undergoing corrective surgery Dec. 18 with the renowned Dr. James Andrews. Team doctors will handle his recovery plan and return once he’s drafted with running backs and other “skill” position talent often requiring more of a grace period than others due to their reliance on elusiveness. A redshirt rookie year is possible.
Before the injury, the 5-9, 200-pounder was viewed as one of the few running backs in this class worthy of early-round consideration. Unable to work out before the draft, however, Love is now likely to be still on the board well into Day Three.
Few home-run threats can match Love, who popped a run of at least 30 yards in all 13 games in 2017 and a run of at least 50 in 11 of 13. His blazing speed erases pursuit angles and quickly puts points on the board. He has a good feel for running lanes and above average agility, both in subtle movements and sharper jump cuts. He’s tough, high character and a viable receiver despite limited usage in college.
Love’s stock plunged in 2018 as he battled injury and inconsistent blocking, and he doesn’t have the size (5-foot-9, 200 pounds) to be a sustaining back. His vision is inconsistent, and he isn’t quite as fluid as his speed and agility would suggest. His lack of experience as a receiver and susceptibility as a blocker could keep him off the field on third downs, but he should at least be a change-of-pace weapon.
Projection: Fourth Round
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)