Historically, the Green Bay Packers have had some of the best quarterbacks
in the NFL. Bart Starr, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers are near the top of
all NFL fans’ quarterback lists, and rightfully so. Since the Packers have had
Hall of Fame talent under center for 30 straight seasons, fans’ expectations for their quarterbacks are extremely high. The Packers’ next quarterback, Jordan Love, is no exception. The Packers saw loads of promise in Love, trading up in the 2020 NFL draft to select the Utah State prospect with the 26th pick.
Fans of all NFL teams were flabbergasted by the Packer’s decision to draft Jordan Love. Why draft a 22-year-old quarterback that Is fresh off of a seventeen interception Junior campaign? Also, the Packers did not consult their Hall of Fame QB before drafting his replacement. To add further insult to injury the Packers were in desperate need of offensive weapons. Other than Davante Adams, the Packers had no solid WR, and backup running back Jamal Williams was presumed to be walking in free agency the following year. By drafting Jordan Love, the Packers missed out on Michael Pittman Jr., Chase Claypool, and 2022 MVP candidate Johnathon Taylor. The Packers chose to avoid the “win now” strategy, even with a then 36- year old Aaron Rodgers.
Despite the talent that the Packers passed up for the young QB, Love could still prove to be a great quarterback, and he had been given a great opportunity to grow. He had a few years to learn under one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time; and, he would have no pressure to play in his rookie season, as Tim Boyle was named the second-string quarterback for the Packers.
When training camp for the 2021 season began, Jordan Love was slated to be the Packers’ 2nd string quarterback in his second season, but because Aaron Rodgers refused to attend the Packers’ optional O.T.A.’s, Love would get to run with the first team during practice. Packers fans were thrilled to hear that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst labeled Jordan Love’s performance as “impressive,” but fans suspected that Gutekunst was merely instilling confidence in the young Love.
After Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, Jordan Love was set to make his NFL debut on Nov. 7th, 2021 vs the Chiefs. Although the Chiefs’ secondary allowed the 12th highest QBR in the NFL, Love could only score 7 points. The quarterback could only muster up a 28.2 QBR and failed to score on 9 drives. Despite Love’s shortcomings, the Packers’ defense allowed only 13 points. This was a terrible performance by any standard. Any quarterback should be able to lead his team to two touchdowns in good conditions against a bad secondary. This was Jordan Love’s first inexcusable performance.
Later, in week 18, Aaron Rodgers was benched for the 2nd half in a meaningless game against division rival, the 2-13-1 Detroit Lions. In Packers fan’s second look at Love in a regular-season game, the former Utah State QB looked average on paper. He threw for 134 yards in his half of play, and he was on the field for two go-ahead touchdowns early in the 4th quarter.
However, off paper Jordan Love looked abysmal. His two go-ahead drives included a drive where he only threw for 17 yards and a 75-yard drive that ended on a 62- yard screen pass to Josiah Deguara. Then, Detroit’s offense scored again to take the lead 30-34, giving Jordan Love a perfect opportunity to lead a late game-winning drive to show the Packers that he is worthy of being the QB of the future. Unsurprisingly, the young quarterback underperformed once again, quickly throwing two interceptions to seal the game.
Overall, Jordan Love has shown very little improvement since his terrible Junior year at Utah State. A player drafted at the twenty-sixth pick should show more promise than Love has shown. Because Love shows no signs of being a starting quarterback, the Packers should trade him while he has value. Teams will be looking for young passing talent since the 2022 quarterback class is weak. The packers should look to the draft or sign a “bridge” quarterback to a one-year deal. This way the Packers can stay competitive in 2022, and draft a real star to replace Rodgers in 2023.