Saturday, September 26, 2020

NFL 2020 Draft: Green Bay put Aaron Rodgers on the clock

The Green Bay Packers last night traded up from the 30th spot to 26 to take Jordan Love, a quarterback out of Utah State. With that move, they put Aaron Rodgers on notice that his time as the Green Bay starter will NOT last forever.

Just as the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers in 2005, they’ve brought in the guy to replace the guy.

Back in 2005, it was the legendary Brett Favre in the starting role in Green Bay. When the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers, in a very similar position where they took Love last night at 24, they essentially announced to Favre that his time was running out.

In essence, it was notice to Favre that, if he was to continue in the starting spot, he needed to perform out of his skin as they had his replacement ready and waiting.

Now, 15 years later, the Packers have gone and repeated the trick. Jordan Love is not an NFL starter right now, and the Packers know that. He’ll sit behind Aaron Rodgers for a few years – but if you think Aaron Rodgers is going to take the older brother, arm around the shoulder role – you are sadly mistaken.

The veteran QB will absolutely 100% see Jordan Love as a threat to his job! That’s not even a question.

Offensive Tackle David Bakhtiari was on a live reaction broadcast when the pick was made last night and he essentially echoed that sentiment – saying that this would light a fire underneath Aaron Rodgers.

This is a Green Bay team who won 13 games in 2019 with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. Although running back Aaron Jones was the star of the Packers offence in 2019 as they began to look more to the run.

Rodgers will no doubt be sitting at home thinking to himself “Damn, they could have given me another weapon other than Davante Adams to aim for. Instead, they’ve gone and selected my replacement!” At least, that’s how I’d be feeling if I were him right now.

Even if they had stayed at 30, the Packers could have selected a receiver such as Tee Higgings, Laviska Shenault or even Denzel Mims. Maybe they thought they could get their guy in the second round? Time will tell.

Rodgers isn’t hitting the same levels he was during the early 2010s with his output. In 2019, he threw 26 touchdowns, 4002 yards and just four interceptions.

In fairness, that was his highest TD record since 2016, but that comes with the caveat that he’s played with injuries throughout the last two years. 2019 also marked his lowest total passing yards (in a full 16 game regular season) since 2015.

In 2017, Rodgers missed half of the season through injury – appearing in just seven games all season long.

All told, there are signs of wear and tear starting to appear for the 36-year-old, and this move by the Packers is, in my opinion, a smart one – if a little dangerous for locker room morale.

If it works out for them, then they will have had 15 years from Brett Favre, 15 years from Aaron Rodgers and could very well get 15 years from Love – amassing a total of 45 consecutive years of great quarterbacking.

Jordan Love will no doubt need a lot of love and attention. Whether or not Matt LaFleur will put on a “Quarterback School” in the way Mike McCarthy did in the early years of Rodgers’ career, I don’t know.

One thing is for certain, LaFleur’s first challenge this off-season will be trying to get a no-doubt slightly offended Aaron Rodgers on side. After-all, if Rodgers can become a mentor to Love, the long-term future of the Green Bay Packers will be looking very fine indeed.

The similarities between the 2005 draft and this one are there for all to see. The Packers will be hoping lightning strikes twice and, if it does, then the rest of the NFL better watch out.

Throughout the day we’ll have more draft recaps and reaction pieces coming your way, so be sure to keep an eye on our NFL Draft section here as well as our Facebook page.

Kieran Harm
Kieran hails from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and holds a degree in Sports Journalism from the University of Brighton. He covers a range of sports, specialising in football and NFL. Kieran is a long-suffering member of the Toon Army as well as a very proud member of Broncos Country.

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