Struggling to find excitement with Jordan Love
Patrick Daugherty, Denny Carter and Kyle Dvorchak analyze the outlook for Packers QB Jordan Love, breaking down expectations in his first year as an NFL starter and why they struggle to draw optimism for fantasy.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: In all this time talking about Aaron Rodgers, we might as well talk about the guy who's going to succeed him at quarterback in Green Bay, Jordan Love, who arrived in the league, of course, as a first round pick in the year 2020, and then proceeded to watch the player in front of him just burn the league to the ground and win back-to-back MVP awards, to then burning the league to the ground in a much different way and being terrible in 2022, and then holding us all hostage all off season.
But Jordan Love, he fell to the end of the first round in 2020. He was kind of like a divisive first round prospect, a very mixed resume. It's kind of like it wasn't as extreme as Trey Lance, but it was kind of like he was hyped more on like traits than he was on like production and that kind of thing. We just don't really know what in the world to expect out of Jordan Love.
We know that it's the second time in a row the Packers have replaced like an inner circle Hall of Famer with a first round pick. This seems like kind of a lot different situation than it did with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. Kyle, just what in the world-- what are the proper expectations, especially in fantasy, for Jordan Love in 2023? Is there any QB 1 juice here at all?
KYLE DVORCHAK: Yeah. From a fantasy perspective, I really struggle to see where any excitement would come from. Because like even if you just grant that like, oh, just let's just pencil him in, if I'm doing projections. Pencil him in for like average efficiency, let's say. I'd say that'd be a good outcome-- right-- if the Packers get, at this point, an average quarterback from a guy who was a pretty mixed prospect and then doesn't play for three years. Has it been three years already? My God.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: It is unbelievable. It's been three years.
KYLE DVORCHAK: Yeah. To get average level play-- like league average, he ranks 16th in every stat-- would be kind of a win. I'd be happy with that if I was a Packers fan essentially. And I just don't see how that translates to any meaningful amount of QB production.
Because the Packers don't play offense in a way that is going to foster good quarterback play, unless that dude has a 7% touchdown clip, like Aaron Rodgers did when he was a good fantasy quarterback. He wasn't that guy last year. Last year, they were -3% pass rate over expected, 28th and neutral situation pace. And those are like the type of stats you see from teams that want to win games 13-10.
And that's when they had Aaron freaking Rodgers. He was coming off back-to-back MVPs. And they still were like, let's play boring defense-oriented, not exciting football. How do you think they're going to play whenever they have Jordan Love under center?
So I'm not excited about it. Even just from a situational perspective, maybe he's good, but Rodgers was good. He wasn't as good last year but he was still fine. If they weren't going to open it up with that guy, they're not doing Jordan Love.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Aaron Rodgers's lawyer, Joe Rogan, has contacted me, taking umbrage with that I said that he was horrible last year. I may have--
KYLE DVORCHAK: He wasn't great though. He was-- I mean, he was way fall off from that 2021 and 2020 guy, for sure. Like, it was concerning.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: I may have overstated the case just a little bit. But yeah, it was actually the worst season of his professional career. Almost any way you slice it, it's really close to his first year as starter with Green Bay. And Denny, one of the reasons Jordan Love was divisive coming in, 2018, he's really, really good at Utah State in the Mountain West. 2019, rather infamously, in 13 games, he had 20 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions. He had zero rushing touchdowns. It was a really, really, just really curious mixed final year in college for Jordan Love. And do you have anything to counter what Kyle said? There's nothing QB1 to see here, is there?
DENNY CARTER: I don't think so. I am a little more optimistic about Jordan Love, based on the fact that he sat for three years, but he was going to-- he was going to sit for 15 years if Aaron Rodgers stayed there for 15 years. Like there was no scenario in which he would usurp Aaron Rodgers, just like Aaron Rodgers sat for however many years behind--
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: It was also three.
DENNY CARTER: --Brett Favre. And Aaron Rodgers-- every time Aaron Rodgers got into a game when Favre was faltering at the end, you just knew. You knew. OK, well this guy's like a top tier starter in the NFL. Obviously, you don't know that with Jordan Love. But I draw some hope, some optimism from his second half performance last year against--
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Oh, I forgot how-- the flame that lit in your heart, that one [INAUDIBLE].
KYLE DVORCHAK: That one like deep, deep, like deep slant to Christian Watson, where he took it-- I think-- all the way?
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: It did light a fire.
KYLE DVORCHAK: Doing a lot of lifting here.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: That lit a fire inside, didn't it?
DENNY CARTER: Yeah. He completed six of nine passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. You know, his adjusted--
KYLE DVORCHAK: Hope springs eternal, fellas.
DENNY CARTER: His-- yes. And it is spring so this makes sense. Adjusted yards per attempt in that game of nearly 15. He had some mobility to move around the pocket. I don't know if he's going to add a bunch of rushing fantasy production. I don't think he is.
I think it comes down to if Matt LaFleur is going to run this offense in the same extremely boring way they did last year, then I guess there's probably nothing to see here, as far as like every week starter situation goes for Jordan Love. If they change a little bit, if they are a little more up tempo, if they are a little more pass savvy, then I do think he's worth monitoring. But he'll probably be a streamer most likely.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: It really is--
KYLE DVORCHAK: In roto, Pat, I think it is really going to be Aaron Rodgers's lawyers coming down hard on us after first, you saying that it was a horrid season, but second, you giving Jordan Love the credit to call 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions curious, whereas most people would call that a disaster.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: It was a disaster.
KYLE DVORCHAK: Rodgers is not happy about that one either.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: And I think you guys got to the heart of the matter for Jordan Love, for 2023. Or even if he does come out looking like a new player than we saw his final season at Utah State, just like a really polished-- like a guy who actually did learn by sitting, which did happen with Aaron Rodgers, I suppose. Even if he looks really good, it's the system that's just going to really be working against him.
And especially with the receiver corps still in flux. I mean, we saw a lot out of Christian Watson as a rookie, but still, by no means, a loaded skill corps for the Packers. And so that even if Jordan Love looks better than expected, he's not-- he's athletic but yeah, he was never like-- didn't operate like as a dual threat at Utah State. And it's not going to-- even if he's better than expected, it's going to be like a wait till 2024 situation with Jordan Love. And there's just no reason to get excited about him in fantasy this year.