The Packers sacrificed two shots at players (via round one and four) who could have helped the team in 2020 for a player who did nothing to assist the effort to advance beyond the NFC title game. Will quarterback Jordan Love help the team in 2021?
That remains to be seen, and it hinges on: (1) whether the Packers trade Aaron Rodgers; (2) whether Rodgers retires; and (3) whether, if either of the first two happen, the Packers will entrust the job to Love, or to someone else.
Many assume that Love would automatically be the post-Rodgers quarterback. No one knows whether Love would be ready, however.
Consider these quotes from Packers G.M. Brian Gutekunst after the first round of the draft, via Matt Schneidman of TheAthletic.com: “He’s got a long way to go. Obviously we think the world of Jordan and where he’s going to grow and develop. I think it’s pretty early to be able to tell you that because obviously with no preseason games last year and just kind of the no-spring, but we have a lot of confidence in his talents, in his work ethic and where he’s going to go. But it’s a little early for that.”
Gutekunst’s public explanation meshes with the private assessments of Love. Teammates, per a source with knowledge of the situation, haven’t seen enough from Love to make them think he’s ready to go. In fairness to Love, he’s had few chances to show what he can do, especially with no 2020 preseason.
At some point, the Packers will find out what he has. If Rodgers stays away from the offseason program, Love will get extra reps. If Rodgers holds out and/or retires, Love may quickly be the guy.
In other words, Love has a long way to go — and it may be that he has a short time to get there.