The tiers of this year's QB prospects are pretty clear-cut. You have Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa as the undisputed top two; you have Justin Herbert, who fluctuates between the bottom of Tier 1 and the top of Tier 2, depending on who you ask; and then you have Jordan Love, coming in under Herbert in Tier 2 or the leader of Tier 3. Everyone else falls in line after that, but those four are generally projected to go somewhere in the first round, while Love occasionally falls to the second in some mock drafts.
Todd McShay agrees that's how the QBs should be evaluated, but has an unexpected answer when it comes to question of who is filled with the most potential, hard stop. On Get Up this morning, McShay explained he believes Love has the most potential out of the four big QBs at the top of everyone's draft board.
"[Love] really, of these four quarterbacks in my opinion, has the higher upside even than Justin Herbert. But I think he's going to need a little bit more time and he's going to need the right supporting cast early in his career to get over some of the forced mistakes he made," said McShay.
Love's physical gifts are evident, but it's still at least mildly surprising that the ESPN draft expert has him above Burrow, Tagovailoa, and Herbert in this case. Tagovailoa ruled college football until a dislocated hip derailed his season and (to much lesser extent) his draft stock. Burrow just turned in the best season from a QB we've ever seen by most statistical measures. Herbert is a bit more proven with similar physical attributes. But according to McShay, Love has the chance to be better than all of them, even if it's a relative long shot.
Love did make some ridiculous throws at times, even if he also managed to throw 17 picks, as McShay notes. Love's sophomore year is likely what encourages teams who are high on his draft stock; he threw 32 touchdowns and only six picks, with a total of 3,567 yards on a 64 percent completion rate. The competition at Utah State wasn't exactly the SEC, but that production paired with a handful of eye-popping plays made him a popular sleeper prospect heading into the 2019 season.
Love took a step back, though, and threw for only 20 touchdowns to 17 interceptions for 3,402 yards this past season. That's a substantial turnover difference, and teams will have to decide if Love is more like the 2018 or 2019 version of himself. If it's the former, Love could be very good indeed. If it's the latter, let the Jameis Winston comparisons roll in.
McShay's opinion is worth quite a bit when it comes to media draft pundits. We'll see if NFL franchises line up with his thinking.