Eli Manning Calls Packers Drafting Jordan Love 'A Little Bit of Deja Vu'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers talks to New York Giants' Eli Manning after an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 23-16. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Mike Roemer/Associated Press

Eli Manning, like many football fans, has seen something like this before in Green Bay.

Manning reflected on the Packers' decision to trade up and draft Jordan Love in the first round even though Aaron Rodgers is still playing well as the starting quarterback. On SiriusXM NFL Radio, he compared it to when Green Bay selected Rodgers in the 2005 draft even though it had Brett Favre under center (h/t Scott Thompson of SNY):

"When Aaron Rodgers was drafted to Green Bay, obviously they didn't trade up, but they took a quarterback in the first round when Favre was still playing well and had years left of playing. I'm sure Brett wasn't real fond of that happening and I'm sure Aaron wasn't real fond of it happening today, especially after going 13-3 and playing good football."

While Love flashed his potential during his collegiate career at Utah State, Green Bay picking him in the first round was still one of the most surprising developments in the 2020 NFL draft.

After all, the Packers went 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship Game a season ago. They were a single win away from the Super Bowl even though they didn't have a reliable second option at wide receiver behind Davante Adams, and selecting someone at the position would have been more of a win-now approach.

Instead, the team didn't draft a wide receiver in any of the seven rounds, meaning Rodgers, 36, may have to work with largely the same weapons again in 2020.

While the comparisons between the Love pick and Rodgers one are clear on the surface, the Packers were 10-6 and lost on Wild Card Weekend the season before they added No. 12. They weren't as close to a championship at that time as they were in 2019, and Rodgers also came with fewer question marks.

He led California to a 10-2 record in his final collegiate season and was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before he fell in the draft.

Love's Utah State team was a mere 7-6 in 2020, and he threw a head-turning 17 interceptions. That was four more than Rodgers threw in his entire career in college.

Favre was the Packers' quarterback for three more years after the Rodgers selection but finished his career on the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings. If this is truly deja vu, as Manning suggested, Rodgers may finish his career on a different team.