Quantifying Quarterbacks is an NFL Draft focused quarterback charting project geared toward providing as much information about as much of a quarterback's recent career as possible. Over 20 data points are recorded for any given pass attempt, ranging from down-and-distance, personnel grouping, play-action, depth of target, accuracy, and much more. Quantifying Quarterbacks charts the entirety of a quarterback's final college season, as well as a smaller sample (four games) from their previous season. All of this charting is done manually by me during and after the college football season. For a more in-depth look at what exactly Quantifying Quarterbacks is, here is a link to last year's final product: 2019 Quantifying Quarterbacks.
Distance (Usage Rate)
11/21 (2 TD)
12/22 (3 TD)
5/12 (2 TD, 1 INT)
14/40 (4 TD, 3 INT)
42/95 (11 TD, 4 INT)
7/12 (1 TD, 1 INT)
5/10 (1 INT)
19/38 (1 TD, 2 INT)
9/18 (2 TD)
12/15 (1 TD)
11/19 (3 TD, 2 INT)
16/28 (2 TD, 3 INT)
48/80 (8 TD, 5 INT)
22/32 (1 TD, 1 INT)
10/13 (1 INT)
12/20 (1 INT)
11/17 (1 TD, 1 INT)
55/82 (2 TD, 4 INT)
26/28 (1 TD)
33/38 (1 INT)
21/26 (2 INT)
120/140 (1 TD, 3 INT)
45/49 (2 TD)
39/42 (3 TD, 1 INT)
115/130 (5 TD, 1 INT)
93/136 (6 TD, 1 INT)
118/147 (6 TD, 2 INT)
114/153 (9 TD, 6 INT)
74/129 (7 TD, 10 INT)
399/565 (28 TD, 19 INT)
Games Charted: Michigan State (2018), BYU (2018), San Jose State (2018), Boise State (2018), all of 2019 season (except Air Force)
Blatant Drops: 25
Forced Adjustments: 24 (4.25%)
Contested Drops: 44
Passes Defended: 47
Explosive Plays: 56 (9.79% of plays)
Jordan Love’s mediocre explosive play rate sticks out like a sore thumb. As is typically the case, Love’s low rate is two-fold. First, Love struggled throwing beyond 20 yards. At just 44.21% accuracy to that area of the field, Love comes in well below the other “top” quarterbacks in this class. Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert each at least cleared the 50% mark, with Burrow and Herbert even getting to just over 55%. Simply not giving his guys chances was a killer. Second, Utah State’s receiving corps was awful in 2019, which makes up for most of this charting sample. They struggled to get open consistently and seldom did they battle at the catch point with any sort of success.
Here is the list of quarterbacks over the past two classes with worse explosive play rates than Love: Ryan Finley (9.63%), Brett Rypien (8.67%), Jarrett Stidham (7.38%), Luke Falk (6.90%), and Daniel Jones (5.86%). One of those players was drafted in the top 100, Jones, and that selection was panned by most non-old school media. Another, Rypien, went undrafted altogether. Love cleared a very, very low bar here.
As far as Love’s target location goes, nothing stands out too much. Love was asked to throw a few too many passes behind the line of scrimmage, but that is more of a personal gripe than a legitimate concern. Love’s 22.73% target rate behind the line of scrimmage is high, but it isn’t damning.
What may be damning, however, is Love's high interception rate to the intermediate area of the field. Between 6-15 yards, Love threw nine interceptions on 162 attempts, coming out to roughly 5.56% of his passes. Love has issues both over the middle and to the sidelines. Over the middle, Love will completely blank on linebackers in space. When throwing to the boundary, Love too often pulls the trigger without understanding a cornerback is in zone coverage and can jump the route by reading his eyes.
ACCURACY AND ENVIRONMENT
Adjusted Accuracy: 69.66%
Outside the Pocket Percentage: 16.26%
Adjusted Accuracy Outside the Pocket: 52.04%
Under Pressure Percentage: 18.71%
Adjusted Accuracy Under Pressure: 45.51%
Most Common Personnel Package: 10 personnel (59.62%)
Shotgun Percentage: 100%
Empty Formations Frequency: 3.67%
Play-Action Percentage: 27.62%
Play-Action Adjusted Accuracy: 62.09%
Designed Rollout Frequency: 8.57%
Of the four quarterbacks I have profiled to this point, Love has the lowest accuracy percentage. All three of the aforementioned 2020 QBs hit at least the 73% mark, while Love falls just short of 70%. That is not a massive gap, and 69.66% isn’t an awful number, but it does start to show the gap between Love and the legitimate first-round picks this class has to offer.
There is a strong case to be made that Love will only be a first-round pick by necessity, and his middling-to-average accuracy score reflects that. Over the previous two classes, three of the eight first-round quarterbacks had an accuracy score below 70.00%: Josh Allen (59.73%), Sam Darnold (67.46%), and Jones (67.60%). Granted, Josh Rosen (70.00%) was literally on the brink of this somewhat arbitrary line, but he would only help serve the case that 70%-ish and below is a warning sign — or at least the sign of a long-term project. Though Love's flashes of accuracy are wonderful, he needs to clean up his down-to-down play.
More concerning is Love’s subpar performance under pressure. While play under pressure is probably slightly overstated for prospects (in the sense that we over-project how often NFL QBs are actually pressured), it is still important to play well under those conditions when forced to. Love cannot. While there are flashes of absurd throws on the run, Love matches each of those with a handful of errant throws or heaves into traffic, playing as if he has no tangible understanding of how to conduct himself when the structure of a play is stripped away from him.
Love’s accuracy score outside the pocket isn’t exactly worrisome, but it does him no favors. In terms of just ball placement, I actually found Love to be a smooth and impressive passer when operating outside of the pocket. The issue, however, is that his brain sometimes turns to mush, so plenty of his attempts outside the pocket have no real chance to be accurate because he is throwing them directly into traffic. That being said, given he has proven to have the baseline traits to do it, his production in this area may improve on a decent team in the pros.
Avg. Number of Pass Rushers: 4.06
Three or Fewer Pass Rushers Frequency: 20.45%
Four Pass Rushers Frequency: 56.99%
Five Pass Rushers Frequency: 19.06%
Six or More Pass Rushers Frequency: 3.50%
Love did not face many overwhelming pass-rush numbers. At 20.45%, Love has (by far) the highest three-or-fewer rushers percentage of the four quarterbacks profiled to this point. Burrow comes in second place in this category at just under 16%, so Love has him beat by a comfortable margin. Additionally, Love's average 4.06 pass-rusher count is very low. Part of the reason this may be the case is that a handful of teams (2018 San Jose State and 2019 BYU, mainly) leaned heavily on the three-or-fewer strategy, daring Love to beat them with his arm. In San Jose State's case, it did not work out, but BYU short-circuited Love by baiting him into three interceptions.
While Love can struggle versus pressure, it does make sense to leave him alone in the pocket. The thinking behind flooding players into coverage is that the smaller windows will force a quarterback to second-guess themselves or start to panic as they cycle through their progressions. That is exactly what happened with Love. Generally not a great processor anyway, Love especially struggled when teams decided to drop eight defenders into coverage and force him to keep track of all the moving pieces.
3rd/4th Down Adjusted Accuracy: 69.86%
3rd/4th Down Conversion Rate: 42.86%
4th Quarter/Overtime Adjusted Accuracy: 67.27%
Red Zone Adjusted Accuracy: 65.08%
Given Love’s struggles throughout the rest of his profile, his situational stats remain fine. His 3rd/4th down conversion rate is certainly on the low end, but considering the quality of team Love was leading, keeping them afloat above 40% is respectable. There is a large disconnect between his accuracy and conversion rate, which could be some cause for concern, but again, Love’s team was a bit of a disaster and I am willing to give him some benefit of the doubt here.
For the latter two categories, Love scores out quite well. Neither mark is elite, but both should come in average to above average in this class, which is better than Love will be able to say for most other categories in his profile. It is somewhat comforting to see that Love’s accuracy does not totally deteriorate when situational pressure is forced upon him.