When the Green Bay Packers moved up to number 26 overall to select former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love the wheels started turning in my head. Why had the Packers moved up four picks to take a quarterback? The Dolphins, Seahawks, Ravens and Titans all selected before them and none of them would have any interest in drafting Love, so why did they make the move?
Then I thought back to the pre-draft rumors, I had quickly dismissed, that said the Seahawks and Colts might be working on a deal that would give Indy the 27th overall pick and when I pieced those two things together, it started to make sense. I didn’t have proof, but it made sense.
Then Ian Rapoport gave this interview following the first round. In it, he says the following:
The biggest story line of this night, for a draft that, let’s just say has not exactly been poppin’ with story lines, the Green Bay Packers took a quarterback and Aaron Rogers, ya know he raised a couple eyebrows a couple weeks ago when he said on local radio that even if they took a quarterback he would make sure to beat him out because that’s how much confidence he had in his abilities. Well he will get the chance to do that. Jordan Love from Utah State who, ya know, some teams believed was a top, top prospect. Other teams had him in the third round, honestly, saw him as a project. The Green Bay Packers climb up and take the potential successor to Aaron Rogers.
This was an interesting one, too, because the Colts also had some talks about potentially trading up as well, so what the Packers did, they made sure that it was them who traded up, not Indy. They get Aaron Rogers successor, now we will see if Rogers grooms him, or you know, not.
So if you believe Rapoport, which you probably should the guy doesn’t get as much information as Adam Schefter but the info he gets is always correct, the Colts were in play for Jordan Love in the first round. That still doesn’t tell us where the Colts were going to trade up with, to select the passer.
Then the quotes from Seahawks general manager John Schneider rolled out regarding their, rather odd, pick at 27 overall. He had this to say:
What's interesting is that John Schneider said in his press conference that the #Seahawks "had a trade lined up to go back a little bit" but made the pick afterwards when it fell through.— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) April 24, 2020
He wouldn't say where the trade would have placed them, but just an interesting tidbit.
So the Seahawks had a deal to move back but it fell through and he initially wouldn’t say with who. He then claimed the deal was with the Packers:
John Schneider said he was talking with Packers GM Brian Gutekunst when he was told "sorry, we got a better deal. It happens."— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) April 24, 2020
It’s possible that he had been talking with the Packers but that still doesn’t answer the question; who were the Packers trying to get in front of?
It would make sense to lie about the deal if John Schneider wanted to protect his relationship with Ed Dodds and Chris Ballard, after all, the optics of missing out on a prospect you wanted isn’t great but then it also becomes really hard to say “This is the guy we wanted all along” when the Colts make their first selection tonight.
We know, per Rapoport, that the Colts were looking to move up to select Jordan Love. We know that the Seahawks had a trade in place to move back. We know that the Packers decided to trade one pick in front of the Seahawks. We can’t prove that the Colts had a deal in place with the Seahawks to move up, but we know there were (unsubstantiated) rumblings of a deal between the two teams before the draft.
At the end of the day no matter what happened between the Colts, Packers, Seahawks and Dolphins, we know that Chris Ballard and Frank Reich did, in fact, want to select Jordan Love and we know instead that he will be a Green Bay Packer, for better or worse.
Draft notes post-Rd 1:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 24, 2020
— #Packers were adamant about trading up for Jordan Love, amid rumors the #Colts would call. Indy never did.
— Several teams — #Cowboys, #Vikings, #Browns — had players fall to them they almost never mocked.
— OL Cesar Ruiz to #Saints was most surprising.
Rapoport is reporting that the Colts never called during the draft. What hasn’t changed are the pre-draft reports that the Colts and Seahawks were working on a deal for the 27th pick. It’s possible they were unable to agree to compensation and it’s possible the Colts were out on Love, for one reason or another, but the Packers clearly believed there was a chance the Colts were moving to 27 to take Love.