SALT LAKE CITY — Could Utah State quarterback Jordan Love be added to the mix in New England as a possible successor to six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady?
That’s the pick by ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., who released his latest mock draft Tuesday. Kiper has Love as the fourth quarterback coming off the board, going No. 23 overall to the Patriots.
“It’s tough to know whether Bill Belichick is going to treat the season as a rebuild, but taking Love makes sense either way,” Kiper wrote.
Brady left New England after 20 seasons and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving big shoes to fill in the Patriots’ quarterback room. There are currently three quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster, with Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler as well as the recently added Brian Hoyer, who’s twice been a backup in New England, most recently in 2018.
The other three quarterbacks going before Love in Kiper’s mock draft include LSU’s Joe Burrow (No. 1 to Cincinnati), Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5 to Miami) and Oregon’s Justin Herbert (No. 6 to Los Angeles Chargers).
The 2020 NFL draft is scheduled for April 23-25. The days for the event have stayed the same in light of the coronavirus pandemic, though there will no longer be any draft events in Las Vegas, which was set to host the event.
Kiper also released his latest top 25 prospect rankings and best 10 at each position, with Love coming in at No. 15 in the top 25 rankings.
“Love is raw, and that’s why whichever teams picks him — and it’s likely to be in the top 25 picks — needs to take its time with him and let him keep developing. He has a high ceiling,” Kiper wrote.
Love is fourth in Kiper’s quarterback rankings, behind Burrow, Tagovailoa and Herbert.
Five Utes show up in Kiper’s position rankings: running back Zack Moss (fifth at his position), defensive end Bradlee Anae (fifth), cornerback Jaylon Johnson (fourth) and safeties Julian Blackmon (eighth) and Terrell Burgess (ninth).