Jordan Love or Jacob Eason: The case for both as the next Colts QB

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 21: Quarterback Jacob Eason #10 of the Washington Huskies passes against the Boise State Broncos during the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 21: Quarterback Jacob Eason #10 of the Washington Huskies passes against the Boise State Broncos during the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NFL Draft is set to begin on Thursday, the Colts have the option of two quarterbacks in the draft: Jordan Love and Jacob Eason. Which one will they pick?

With the draft set to begin in just over a day, the rumors and speculation surrounding teams have only increased as Draft Day nears. Among those rumors is the upcoming Colts decisions for Day 1. Without a first-round pick, the only way for the team to have a selection is to work out a trade.

There have been many recent mock drafts about the Colts possibly trading up into the first round for Utah State QB Jordan Love. Other mocks have the Colts staying in the second round (with picks 34 and 44) to select Washington QB Jacob Eason. Let’s look at the pros and cons of the Colts selecting Love and Eason, as well as which scenario is more likely.

The case for Jordan Love:

One of the main reasons why the Colts have been rumored to trade up for Love as of now is due to Love’s draft stock slipping. Love, previously mocked as a top-15 quarterback and possibly a player to be picked before Justin Herbert, is now being selected towards the end of the first round in many recent mock drafts.

Love’s decision making in the pocket is something that many teams have been wary of, given that he threw 17 interceptions to only 20 touchdowns in his final college season. He tended to force too many throws, which ended up with him throwing on his back foot into tight coverage. Another downside of Love is his inability to read the field well; this also leads to forced throws to his primary receiver instead of surveying for other options.

All things aside, Love throws one of the best balls in the game. He has one of the biggest arms in the draft and has a knack for throwing off-platform. While not the fastest, his shiftiness in the pocket is also one of the better abilities of his and rivals Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa as the best in the category.

Love’s ability to make plays was often overshadowed by his many mistakes, but he has the traits to become a great player in that regard. As a fun fact, the last QB to be drafted in the first round from the Mountain West conference was Josh Allen. Here are their stats for their final two season in college:

Allen: 56.2% completion percentage, 5,015 yards, 2.3 TD-INT ratio, 7.7 yards/attempt

Love: 63% completion percentage, 6,969 yards, 3.25 TD-INT ratio, 7.9 yards/attempt

So, Love outperformed Allen in college. Allen is currently having a good career in the NFL with Buffalo and did less in college than Love did. Stats don’t mean everything, however, the two players do have similar styles. They both have a huge arm (with Allen likely the better arm talent) and have mobility in the pocket, but oftentimes struggle with decision-making.

Love can be a valuable addition to the Colts if two things occur:

  1. Love shouldn’t require much of a trade-up; the best scenario would be in the 27-32 range
  2. Love needs to sit behind Philip Rivers and learn the ins-and-outs of being an NFL QB

Love needs time to fix some of his mistakes in order to be good enough to succeed at the pro level. Many suggest Love should’ve stayed for his senior season at Utah State, but getting a head start on the NFL isn’t a bad idea at all if the Colts can come along and fix his mistakes. If so, Love has the potential to be the team’s next franchise QB.

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The case for Jacob Eason

Eason has been mocked to the Colts ever since the official picks came out back in February. Eason’s stock hasn’t risen or fallen much at all throughout the offseason; he’s still cemented as a second-round pick.

Eason’s best attribute, without a doubt, is his arm. He has a hose for an arm and has the best in the draft this year. His tight spiral and ability to fit the ball into tight windows will easily translate into the NFL as one of the league’s best from the moment he enters the league. His tight spiral also allows him to be accurate in the short and intermediate levels of the field. His deep ball is good-looking as is accurate at times, as well.

Eason’s struggles are similar to Love’s. His decision-making in the pocket and fixation on the primary read lead to bad throws. Eason’s deep ball also lacked accuracy, as well. There were stretches in games where his deep ball was off-target. Another one of his cons is his mobility. He isn’t a bad athlete at all, but he struggled with picking the right time to scramble or stay in the pocket. He ended up taking himself out of the pocket too often, which led to unnecessary sacks.

If Eason can sharpen up his decision-making, he can become a great QB in the NFL. His arm talent alone is enough to get him there. If the Colts draft Eason at 34 (or 44), he’ll definitely need to sit for one or two years in order to build his other attributes into pro-ready ones.

Who’s more likely to be a Colt?

At this point, Love has the potential to be a better player than Eason. He possesses the dual-threat ability that Eason isn’t the greatest at. The ability to be shifty in the pocket to avoid oncoming rushers is key in the NFL, and Love can do that. His arm is good enough to translate into the NFL. Although Eason’s is better, Love’s arm will still be good enough to work at the pro level. Both possess similar cons to their game, most notably with their decision making. Sitting for a year will definitely benefit them, as they’ll both be able to take the necessary steps to solve those bad habits.

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The real question remains: Are the Colts willing to trade up for Love? As it stands, the team would only need to trade up to 23rd at the absolute most (Patriots hold the 23rd pick), but Love could slip past New England and New Orleans (at 24), which opens the door for Love to fall to the very end of the round. If Indianapolis is willing to give up picks and are confident in Love’s abilities over Eason, expect to see it happen come Thursday night.