13. Indianapolis Colts: QB Jordan Love, Utah State
Chris Ballard knows he’ll probably only get one shot at drafting a quarterback as general manager of the Indianapolis Colts; it’s quite rare for any general manager to get two early selections at quarterback. That means he needs to get this pick right.
Jordan Love is a case study in what to scout when evaluating quarterbacks. He has ideal size (6’3⅝”, 223 lbs), athleticism, very good arm strength and very good mobility, but he also threw 17 interceptions in 2019 and scouts will pick apart his decision-making process. Go back to 2018, his fans will say, when Love excelled under then-coach Matt Wells with more NFL-caliber talent around him. With much of his supporting cast gone in 2019, Love pressed and struggled.
Ballard has the hard task of figuring out which player Love is—the 2018 or 2019 version. If he falls for his traits and believes Frank Reich can develop him, Love could be the answer in a post-Andrew Luck world for the Colts.
Along with Love, Miller projects the Colts to select the following prospects:
34. COLTS (WSH): DL Ross Blacklock, TCU
44. COLTS: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan
75. COLTS: EDGE Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame
119. COLTS: S Julian Blackmon, Utah
161. COLTS: OT Trey Adams, Washington
194. COLTS: TE Jacob Breeland, Oregon
212. COLTS (KC): RB Anthony McFarland Jr., Maryland
As a junior quarterback for the Aggies, Love completed 293 of 473 throws (61.9%) for 3,402 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions in 13 starts.
The athletically gifted quarterback has natural arm talent—with the ability to throw from multiple arm angles, and good mobility to extend plays when the pocket breaks down.
However, still a bit raw, he has struggled with his accuracy and decision-making at times.
Love has drawn comparisons to NFL Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl MVP (and 1x NFL MVP) Patrick Mahomes—which is enough for anyone to at least take a deeper look at his scouting report and potential to be successful at the professional ranks.
Currently selecting at #13 overall, the Colts won’t have the luxury of selecting LSU’s Joe Burrow and probably not even Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon’s Justin Herbert either among top quarterback prospects.
However, it’s possible Love could be available at the Colts current spot—or perhaps even later on in the first or early second round.
Right now, the Colts need help at starting quarterback.
If they can upgrade over incumbent starter Jacoby Brissett—while improving other areas of the roster this offseason (namely, wide receiver and defensive line as well), they have a chance to seriously compete in the AFC again.
Theoretically, the Colts could select Love and let him develop behind either Brissett or another veteran quarterback—perhaps Chargers free agent Philip Rivers for a season before fully handing him over the starting reins in 2021.
It’s similar to the blueprint the Chiefs deployed with Mahomes, having had him sit behind veteran starter Alex Smith for his rookie season in 2017.
If Love pushes for the starting gig much sooner, that’s only gravy for the Colts.
As such, Love should be under strong consideration for the Colts at #13 overall—or perhaps even later on in this upcoming April’s NFL Draft given his natural talent and potential.