Utah State quarterback Jordan Love may be around for the Chicago Bears second-round pick. Should they take him, or trade up for him?
Jordan Love broke out in 2018 with an impressive 32 touchdowns to six interceptions as a sophomore at Utah State. He completed 64% of his passes and averaged 8.6 yards per attempt. However, he came back down to life in 2019 with 17 touchdowns to 16 interceptions, adding to a 62% completion rate and 7.2 yards per attempt.
After suffering in all areas, Love decided to head to the NFL rather than stay in the Mountain West, where his teammates and level of competition were not going to raise his stock.
Love has the upside and intrigue that has many pegging him as a first-round pick, but the decline as a junior and level of competition has led others to think he is more of a second-round target.
Mitch Trubisky will be back next year, but the Bears need to have a better backup plan in 2020 than they did in 2019.
So, if Love is around, would he be a player worth taking?
Love does not lack natural athleticism. He can move and maneuver while making throws out of structure and on the run. He has impressive arm talent and can connect to all areas of the field. He has no issue giving his players a chance to make a play on the ball. Love also has a quick release and short accuracy to make plays in rhythm.
The combination of size, athleticism, and arm strength creates the upside of a playmaker who is hard to contain.
The issue for Love is consistency when he breaks the pocket. For every acrobatic throw he makes out of the pocket, another leaves you questioning what is his decision-making process was. Love can latch onto reads and will go out of his way to force the ball to a predetermined read, rather than go through his progressions.
While he gives his players a chance to make the catch, he often puts the ball in harm’s way. 50/50 balls that went his way in 2018 did not in 2019. This type of regression could have been expected.
Bears fans are not going to like this, but when you watch Love you cannot be reminded of traits that Mitch Trubisky displayed. He had the size, the athleticism, and the arm talent. In glimpses, you can find ways to convince yourself that he has franchise quarterback potential.
However, the consistency is what holds him back. The turnover worthy plays and questionable off-script decisions hold back the ceiling. When Love and Trubisky see one-on-one with their man on the outside, they are taking that shot. The question is who will come down with the ball.
Fit for Chicago Bears
When it comes to where the Bears stand right now, they need a quarterback who can come in and push Trubisky. A quarterback who could step in if the wheels come off for Trubisky next season. They need a safe bet. With Love, they are getting a project type player with more of a ceiling that needs untapped. The Bears would need to commit to building and developing Love. That would take away from time with Trubisky. They would have to choose between Trubisky or Love in that situation.
On top of that, the Bears cannot take that same risk again that they did when they took Trubisky. They cannot bet on ironing out the flaws, ignoring consistency to bet on glimpses and flashes. They cannot trust that Love going 7-6 at Utah State is better than Trubisky going 8-5 at UNC and these players were held back by going to a non-prominent powerhouse.
The Bears have to find a quarterback in 2020, but Love is a risk that they do not have the time to develop, or the leash to roll the dice on.