When Minnesota Vikings fans dream of the team getting their next franchise quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft, the team they think about is the Kansas City Chiefs. That's because during the 2017 NFL Draft, they traded up to get Patrick Mahomes despite having Alex Smith on the roster and the move wound up netting the franchise their first Super Bowl victory in 50 years.
On that basis alone, it would make a quarterback that has been compared to Patrick Mahomes appealing for the Vikings. Jordan Love has had an up-and-down career at Utah State, but many feel he has the tools to be successful. In our latest installment, we'll look at Love's game and see if he's a fit for the Vikings.
Why the Vikings should draft Love
The two things that draw scouts to Love are his size and cannon arm. Love stands at 6'4" and 224 pounds, which is a prototypical size for a franchise quarterback, but he mixes that in with an arm that effortlessly gets the ball to his receivers and he can fit the ball into tight windows.
That doesn't mean that Love just drops back and lets it fly. He's also been known to put touch on his passes while also knowing when to change his launch points to get the ball where it needs to go. These traits helped Love throw for 3,567 yards, 32 TD and 6 INT during his sophomore season at Utah State.
With above-average athleticism, you can see parts of his game that do resemble Mahomes, but that doesn't seem to bother Love, who embraced it at the NFL Scouting Combine.
"Different teams ask me who I’d compare my game to, and I’d say that too, as well, just as far as arm strength and playmaking ability," Love said during his combine press conference. "I mean, I’m not saying I’m Patrick Mahomes at the end of the day. But I love his game, I love watching his game, and obviously, that’s something I’m trying to implement in my game, as well.”
Why the Vikings shouldn't draft Love
After Love's sophomore season, the hype was on for his junior season in Provo, but his supporting cast left a lot to be desired. After a change at the head coaching position and several key players departing, Love was on his own and the results weren't pretty.
With 3,402 yards, 20 TD and 17 INT, Love's final season at Utah State didn't go as planned and his response to the 17 picks he chucked was that they were "17 teachable moments."
That phrase, which was uttered repeatedly during his press conference, will give Viking fans flashbacks of Christian Ponder's "easily correctable" performances in the early 2010s, but the good part is that Love owned the criticism that came with it.
"I would make one throw and then come back and make a bad decision,” Love explained. "If I didn't want to talk about them, then I shouldn't have thrown them."
Hence is the downside of taking Love with a first-round pick. The Vikings will have several holes and if they want to take a quarterback, the odds are he'll sit behind Kirk Cousins in 2020 to learn the offense, thus leaving some of the holes still unaddressed.
Love probably isn't Mahomes, but he's probably still really good at playing quarterback. With a rocket arm and an ability to extend and create plays, the traits are there that could make him a top-tier franchise quarterback in the NFL.
The issue is that the hype with Love has begun to reach a fever pitch and with the 21-year-old strongly connected to the Indianapolis Colts, this would be another situation where Rick Spielman would have to get aggressive and trade up for his man.
For a team like the Vikings, that might not be an option as they need to fill holes elsewhere. However, if they like the potential here, there could be worse fliers for Minnesota to take.