Packers' Mark Murphy Defends Jordan Love Pick, Says Critics Questioned Aaron Rodgers

Adam WellsApril 12, 2022

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 20:   Aaron Rodgers #12 and Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers walk onto the field before a game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The Packers defeated the Lions 35-17.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Two years after trading up to select Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL draft, Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy defended the team's decision and process that led to the pick.

Speaking to Tom Grossi of Packast (h/t Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk), Murphy compared the move to add Love to the Packers' selection of Aaron Rodgers in 2005.

"He's a talented player. I know the decision to draft him has been questioned by a number of people, but it's such an important position in our league that investing future assets at the quarterback position ... they said the same thing when we drafted Aaron," Murphy said. 

When the Packers made the decision to draft Love, their process was sound. Even though the team went 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship Game during the 2019 season, there were indications that Rodgers' performance was in decline.

Rodgers had the two lowest QBR numbers of his career in 2018 (58.0) and 2019 (52.5) since taking over as Green Bay's starting quarterback in 2008. He had also become conservative in his play, leading the NFL in throwaways (52) and throwaway rate (8.2 percent) in 2019. 

It was fair to assume Rodgers, who was 36 years old after the 2019 season, was in decline. 

Rather than face that uncertainty, the Packers tried to put a succession plan in place. They traded up four spots to select Love with the No. 26 pick in the 2020 draft. 

Love's college career at Utah State had the inverse trajectory of a quarterback selected in the first round. He threw for 3,567 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions as a sophomore in 2018. 

During his junior year in 2019, though, Love tossed 17 interceptions with 20 touchdowns and 3,402 yards. 

In his scouting report for Bleacher Report, Matt Miller called Love "a sit-and-develop type quarterback" and compared his skill set to Colin Kaepernick and Jake Locker. 

The 2020 season began an incredible second phase of Rodgers' peak. He has won back-to-back NFL MVP awards while throwing for 8,414 yards, 85 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 32 starts over the past two seasons. 

The Packers signed Rodgers to a contract extension last month worth $150 million over the next three years. 

Love, meanwhile, has started one game in two seasons. The Packers will have to decide if they want to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract next offseason. He's thrown for 411 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in six career games.