Jordan Love looks to showcase skills at NFL Combine

NFL Scouting Combine

Jordan Love is the fourth-rated quarterback in most eyes this week at the NFL Scouting Combine, but that could change with a big performance.

INDIANAPOLIS — Jordan Love is built to play in today’s NFL.

Love, 21, is 6-foot-5 and 224 pounds. While on-field drills at the NFL Scouting Combine come Thursday night for quarterbacks, Love is expected to run a fast time. His tape shows the ability to play on and off-script while winning with a strong arm.

In 1985, Love’s style would have been seen as a risky gimmick. In 2020, it’s seen as both necessary and  multi-faceted.

However, questions loom over the projected first-round pick. Coming from Utah State, Love played lesser competition and was surrounded by lesser talent. Did the latter lead to his 17 interceptions as a senior, or was it more on the former?

It’s no secret the three quarterbacks most-often ranked ahead of him — Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert — all played in Power 5 conferences and reached major bowl games. Love was seldom seen on the national stage before arriving in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl last month.

“I was less seen, so that gives me a better opportunity to show you guys what I’m about out here,” Love said. “Obviously coaches, (people) like that they’ve seen me, seen my film. But for other people that haven’t seen me, it gives me that platform to showcase myself.”

Like almost every quarterback coming out of college, Love’s biggest task this offseason has been learning new footwork. Instead of playing out of the shotgun virtually every snap with the Aggies, Love is learning how to take five and seven-step drops, something he’ll be doing at the next level.

These are the concerns he was asked about throughout his media availability on Tuesday, a session he handled deftly. He was asked multiple times about his high interception rate, to the point a reporter probed about whether the inquiries were becoming bothersome.

To Love’s credit, he had a winner’s answer.

“If I don’t want to talk about it I’ll have to not throw 17 interceptions next time.”

While Thursday is an opportunity to flash his talent, the week nobody sees is even more critical. Love has been and will continue to be tasked with getting on whiteboards during interviews, spitting complicated verbiage back at teams and discussing offensive philosophies. All throughout, coaches and personnel departments will be listening and watching intently, looking to spot character flaws.

“What I want to drive home is who I am,” Love said. “A competitor, my competitive nature. Willing to go out there and work for whatever I’ve got to get.”

From now until April 23 when the NFL Draft opens, Love’s tape will be dissected to the nth degree. Scouts and general managers will see rawness. They’ll see bad interceptions.

They’ll also a kid ideally suited to play in the modern pro game.

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