In this February 25, 2020 file photo, Tua Tagovailoa talks to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
In this February 25, 2020 file photo, Tua Tagovailoa talks to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. |Associated Press
NFL

NFL Draft Preview: Eckel examines the QB class and ranks his top 5 with the help of some experts

A panel of experts, including a long-time executive in personnel with two Super Bowl rings, have agreed to share their opinions on this draft. And all agreed that Jordan Love is on the rise.

Mark Eckel

Jordan Love.

That’s no longer a term reserved for University of North Carolina basketball or Chicago Bulls fans.

Jordan Love, out of Utah State, has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, scheduled to begin April 23.

A panel of experts, including a long-time executive in personnel with two Super Bowl rings, have agreed to share their opinions on this draft. And all agreed that Love is on the rise.

“There’s no doubt he’s first round,’’ the personnel man said (you can read his other quotes in the list down below). “It’s just a matter of where. I think he could be a top five pick, especially if a team trades up into the top five.’’

Love had a great sophomore year taking Utah State to an 11-2 record with 3,567 yards passing and 32 touchdowns compared with six interceptions. He also ran for seven touchdowns.

Graduation his USU hard and left Love with a skeleton cast in 2019. The school went 7-6 and Love saw his stats dip to 3,402 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

“He had nothing to work with, nothing,’’ the scout said. “Everything he did, he did on his own.’’

Here’s the Top 5

1. Joe Burrow, LSU

Height/Weight: 6-3, 216

Class: Sr.

Stats: 2019: 5,671 yards, 76.3 percent, 60 TD/6 Int

Quote: “What he did last year was unbelievable, but he also had a great team around him and never faced much adversity.’’

2. Jordan Love, Utah State

Height/Weight: 6-4, 225

Class: Jr.

Stats: 2018: 3,567 yards, 64 percent, 32/6

2019: 3,402, 61.9 percent, 20/17

Quote: “He’s really grown on me. He had nothing to work with (at Utah State) last year, nothing. He lost his top five receivers from the year before. Everything he did he did on his own. I think he has a chance to be really good with the right team and coach.’’

3. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Height/Weight: 6-1, 215

Class: Jr.

Stats: 2018: 3.966 yards, 69 percent, 43/6

2019: 2,840, 71.4 percent, 33/3

Quote: “I had some red flags on him before the injury and one of those was durability. Now, you have to be real careful. But obviously he has talent.

4. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Height/Weight: 6-1, 220

Class: Sr.

Stats: 2019: 3,851 yards, 69.7 percent, 32/8

Quote: “He’s a great competitor and a winner. All he does in win (career record 38-4). He could be a steal in this draft.’’

5. Justin Herbert, Oregon

Height/Weight: 6-6, 225

Class: Sr.

Stats: 2019: 3,471 yards, 66.8 percent, 32/6

Quote: “He’s just OK. (He’s) gonna get drafted a lot higher than he should.’’

Underrated: Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Overrated: Jacob Eason, Washington “He’s just not that good.’’

Small School Star: James Morgan, FIU

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