A new challenger has emerged in the Denver Broncos Quarterback Sweepstakes.
According to FanDuel, the Broncos are the “most likely trade destination” for second-year Packers QB Jordan Love in the lead-up to next week’s NFL Draft.
Love is the classic, prototypical Denver Broncos quarterback. He’s a 6-foot-4, 220-pound gunslinger with a cannon for an arm and enough athleticism to be a threat on the ground. It’s not hard to envision John Elway and George Paton talking themselves into a guy like that. While the No. 9 pick is probably too steep of a price for Denver to pay, the Broncos should be able to put together an enticing package for the Packers. And Green Bay would be happy to get Love out of the conference.
Chosen No. 26 overall in 2020, Love is coming off a forgettable rookie campaign in which he landed on the COVID-19 list and never played a regular-season nor postseason snap. Predecessor Aaron Rodgers, also the subject of trade speculation, went on to lead the NFL in touchdown passes (48), capturing his third career MVP trophy at age-37.
Love (6-4, 224) was a highly-touted prospect at Utah, throwing for 8,600 yards, 60 TDs, and 29 interceptions across 38 games from 2017-19. He was named second-team All-MWC and took home New Mexico Bowl MVP honors as a sophomore in 2018.
“Challenging evaluation for quarterback-needy teams balancing traits and potential against disappointing 2019 tape,” his NFL.com pre-draft scouting report reads. “Staff turnover and new starters across the offense are partly to blame for his regression, but self-made flaws in process were also concerns. Love’s accuracy took a step back, and his delayed reaction from ‘see it’ to ‘throw it’ when making reads is troubling. He has the arm to stick throws into tight windows but needs better eye discipline and anticipation to keep windows open. His size, mobility and arm talent combined with his 2018 flashes could be a winning hand that leads a team into the future or a siren’s song of erratic play and unfulfilled potential.”
Under contract through 2023 and replete with a fifth-year option, Love carries a $2.814 million salary-cap charge for the upcoming season. He turns 23 in November.
Love joins Carolina’s Teddy Bridgewater, Chicago’s Nick Foles and Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew as potential QB targets for new Broncos general manager George Paton, who reaffirmed the need to add competition behind incumbent starter Drew Lock.
“We want to get the right guy, and we still have time,” Paton said Thursday. “There’s a trade market and we still have the draft. The landscape may change after the draft. If a team drafts one, maybe that quarterback is on the market. We’re going to be patient and not force it. We realize we want competition, and I’ve said that since I’ve gotten here. That hasn’t changed.”
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