Quarterback, Utah State Aggies
40 time: 4.74
Love was rated as merely the 70th-best pro style quarterback in the 2016 class in the 247Sports Composite rankings, but he emerged as an All-Mountain West player and early NFL draft entry after receiving just one FBS offer (Utah State) out of high school. He began to flash potential when he started the final six games of his redshirt freshman season, and then cemented himself as an intriguing NFL prospect with a 32-touchdown, six-interception sophomore season in 2018. However, his gunslinger approach didn’t play as well last season, when his interceptions ballooned to an alarming 17.
Love had an uneven showing at the Senior Bowl, filling practices with checkdowns and inaccuracy, and only flashing NFL talent. His arm really stood out at the NFL Scouting Combine, though concerns about accuracy persisted.
While lacking elite size, Love passes the eye test with a solid frame, including room for more muscle mass. A savvy distributor of the football, Love is a rhythm passer who can pepper defenses at every level, using his eyes and functional mobility to create throwing lanes. He shows good (but not great) accuracy on short and intermediate passes, typically putting the ball in front of his receivers and allowing them space to create yards after the catch. Greatest attribute as a passer is a pillow-soft touch. Consistently able to drop balls over the top of defenders, including on deep balls on the perimeter and especially down the seam between linebackers and safeties. Does not throw many ropes, but delivers very catchable passes with ease, offering proper trajectory and tight spins, including to the sidelines from the opposite hash. Throws the ball with good timing and consistently over the top with his release. Accuracy does not fluctuate when on the move, projecting nicely to the quick, dual-threat game increasingly popular in today’s NFL. Described as a great teammate and “natural leader.” Mentally tough.
Only slightly above-average natural skill-set given his production (61.2 percent completion rate, 60 touchdowns vs. 29 interceptions in his three-year college career) and early entry into the draft. Excelled in a QB-friendly system that has produced plenty of NFL draft picks but few starters (Brad Smith, Chase Daniel, Blaine Gabbert). Adequate but not stand-out velocity to the sideline. Functionally accurate but lacks precision, too often forcing receivers to alter their routes to collect passes. Rushed for 403 yards and nine touchdowns at Utah State, but is best described as crafty in terms of buying time than being a true scramble threat with the elusiveness or speed to worry NFL defenders. Character requires thorough vetting following a Dec. 14, 2019, citation for marijuana possession, along with two other Utah State players. He announced his intention to enter the 2020 NFL Draft prior to the arrest and Utah State’s bowl game, which the Aggies lost to Kent State 51-41 in the Frisco Bowl.
Brett Hundley, Arizona Cardinals — Like the 6-3, 226-pound Hundley, Love possesses enough natural tools to warrant development and middle-round consideration. His statistics have been inflated by crafty play-calling and scheme, as well as questionable competition. While he comes with plenty of hype as a potential first-rounder, do not be surprised if NFL teams fail to show the same amount of “love” for this quarterback as the media.
Projection: Second-third round