Packers trade up, select quarterback Jordan Love in 1st round of NFL draft

GREEN BAY -- The Green Bay Packers traded their first-round pick -- 30th overall -- in the 2020 NFL draft along with a fourth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for the 26th overall pick.

With that pick, the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love from Utah State -- 15 years to the day after the team drafted Aaron Rodgers to be Brett Favre's successor.

Love has earned raves for his arm strength and size. The junior quarterback started 13 games in his final season with the Aggie, completing 61.9% of his passes for 3,402 yards and 20 touchdowns. He did throw 17 interceptions. As a sophomore in 2018, he threw 32 touchdowns to 6 intercepts with 3,552 yards passing and a 64% completion rate.

Now he’s the heir apparent to the 36-year-old Rodgers. Green Bay’s current backup to Rodgers is 25-year-old Tim Boyle, a 2018 undrafted free agent who played at Connecticut and Eastern Kentucky. Love joins Rodgers, Boyle and Manny Wilkins as quarterbacks on the Green Bay roster.

Green Bay passed up more immediate needs at wide receiver and inside linebacker as the Packers seek to take the next step after going 13-3 and losing in the NFC championship game last season.

The team needs more wideouts to complement three-time Pro Bowl selection Davante Adams, the only Packer with at least 50 catches or 500 yards receiving during the 2019 regular season.

They also could use inside linebackers and defensive linemen who can help them do a better job of stopping the run after giving up 285 yards rushing in last season’s NFC championship game. The Packers gave up 120.1 yards rushing per game to rank 23rd of 32 NFL teams in run defense, and they allowed 4.7 yards per carry.

It is the first time Green Bay has selected an offensive player in the first round since taking Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod at No. 32 overall in 2011. It’s also the third straight year Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has traded out of Green Bay’s initial first-round draft position.

It is the fifth time in the Super Bowl era that the team selected a quarterback in the first round. Aside from Rodgers, the team took Rich Campbell (1981), Jerry Tagge (1972) and Don Horn (1967).