Julian Love is an exciting game-breaker of a cornerback. He has a lot of qualities but also has serious room for improvement. Can we start day one? Very likely. Can he be your team’s number one corner? Over time. Is he ready to assume a number one role right away? Absolutely not. Here’s Notre Dame’s talented cornerback that will hear his name called early on in the NFL Draft.
Weight: 193 pounds
Tape: Julian Love vs. Michigan (2018)
Strengths: Physical player that uses his physicality at the line of scrimmage well to dictate the rest of the snap. Quick-footed player that mirrors receivers well. Versatile, can play inside the numbers or outside. Consistently forces receivers to use an outside release and keep them near the sideline cutting down the window of success for a completion. Uses hands well and has great reactionary skills to bat the pass away. Great ball-hawk that can be a threat to break the game open if he gets the ball into his hands. A total competitor that will constantly challenge the receiver even if he looks beat initially. Shows good effort in run support, improving tackler and stands his ground. Patient in zone coverage and has an understanding of zone. Has no issue turning his back to the QB and making a play judging off the movement of his man in front of him trying to complete the catch. Has the overall long speed to cover his man deep downfield.
Weaknesses: Shorter in stature, a little tight in the hips and doesn’t have elite speed that undersized cornerbacks normally have. Has a tendency to get over-zealous in press coverage leading to him to make up ground that he really doesn’t have the overall speed to do. Footwork can use improvement and needs to use his hands more at the line of scrimmage. Takes awhile to get to his maximum speed, so if he gets out of positioning in between 10-15 yards he can be picked apart by more explosive athletes. Plays tougher in coverage than in run support. Tries to ankle-bite far too often on a pass-catching receiver that has beaten him which causes chunk yardage pickups on his doing. Has a hard time navigating through traffic and will caught up on another player/route. Allows too many in-breaking routes over the middle. His lack of true athleticism leads to him having to work that much harder than everyone else which leads to a smaller margin for error.
Draft Grade: 2nd-round
Best Fit: Love’s best fit is going to be on a team that allows him to play bump-and-run but also a team that already has their number one guy. He’s got a long way to go to become a true number one corner. He can come in day one and start as a number two with high upside as a ball-hawking corner with an overall developing game.
Player Comparison: Kendall Fuller