SALT LAKE CITY — The NFL quarterback landscape has changed extensively over the first few days of free agency.

Of the top four quarterback prospects in the 2020 rookie class, it appears all this shakeup could have the greatest impact on former Utah State standout Jordan Love.

Prior to free agency, Love had been a trendy pick to potentially sneak into the top 10 picks of next month’s 2020 NFL draft, while nearly every mock draft had the 6-foot-4 prospect in the top 15 picks and not slipping out of the first round. LSU’s Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa are widely seen as the top two quarterbacks in this year’s class, with Love and Oregon’s Justin Herbert atop the next tier.

In mock drafts that have been released this week, after the quarterback dominoes have started to fall in free agency, though, Love’s name has dipped a bit in the prognostications, in part because of where some of the big-name quarterbacks have landed since Wednesday.

Six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady surprised the NFL world by opting to leave the New England Patriots and signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while other reported deals include Philip Rivers joining with the Indianapolis Colts, Drew Brees re-upping with the New Orleans Saints and Ryan Tannehill with the Tennessee Titans, Teddy Bridgewater going to the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears acquiring Nick Foles in a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In a few scenarios, Love’s movement is tied to the six-time Super Bowl winner Brady.

  • USA Today’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz has Love being picked by the Patriots with the 23rd overall selection in his latest mock draft. “Jarrett Stidham or a forthcoming trade option (Andy Dalton?) seem like more reasonable successors to Brady than any rookie. Yet Bill Belichick might have a difficult time bypassing a passer with Love’s considerable gifts if the quarterback were to fall to this point,” Middlehurst-Schwartz wrote.
  • Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox also has New England selecting Love at No. 23.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Hanson slotted Love to be picked No. 14 overall by the Buccaneers, where he’d back up Brady.

In all three of those mock drafts, Herbert is the third quarterback off the board, headed to the Los Angeles Chargers with the No. 6 overall pick, following top five picks Burrow and Tagovailoa.

  • CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards also has Love going to New England at No. 23. “New England is pumping out the narrative that they are happy with Jarrett Stidham. They may be happy with Stidham, but it would also make sense for them to act happy so no one got anxious to take a quarterback they like in the draft,” Edwards wrote. There is a shakeup in how the other top quarterbacks are selected in Edwards’ mock, though, with Burrow to Cincinnati at No. 1, Tagovailoa to the Chargers at No. 3 (in a trade), and Herbert to Miami at No. 5.

Other possibilities for Love outside the Patriots and Buccaneers include:

  • NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein has Love going to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 20th overall pick in the draft. “If Love is still on the board here, it might be hard for the Jaguars to pass on the boom-or-bust prospect with loads of talent,” Zierlein wrote.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Eddie Brown has Love falling out of the first round altogether, dropping to No. 34 (the second pick in the second round) and going to the Indianapolis Colts, which have been a trendy pick for Love during parts of the pre-draft process.

What does it all mean for Love?

There are several teams who could be in the market to draft a quarterback in the first round, among them the Bengals, Dolphins, Patriots, Chargers, Jaguars and Colts.

Cincinnati appears locked in to taking Burrow with the first overall pick and moving on from longtime starter Andy Dalton. The Dolphins have the No. 5, No. 18 and No. 26 picks, and Miami is expected to go for a quarterback early, with Ryan Fitzpatrick serving as the veteran stopgap.

The Chargers have veteran Tyrod Taylor as their top QB after the team chose not to re-sign Rivers, and they look almost certain to go quarterback with the No. 6 pick. Jacksonville still has its sixth-round pick last year, Gardner Minshew, after trading Foles, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Jaguars add another young arm.

Rivers’ deal with the Colts is for a reported one year, and while Indianapolis also has Jacoby Brissett, there is room to add a first-year quarterback. The same goes for New England, which now has only has second-year man Stidham and fifth-year Cody Kessler as quarterbacks on its roster.

What does that mean for Love? There could be more uncertainty on where he lands come draft night.