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Packers’ GM Brian Gutekunst sees the “it factor” in Jordan Love, but can he live up to the hype?

Jordan Love
Photo courtesy of USA Today.

The Green Bay Packers are set to transition to their third full-time starting quarterback in the past three decades with the trade of Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets. Jordan Love, the 24-year-old fourth-year signal caller, will take over the reins of one of the most iconic franchises in sports. Love faces the daunting task of succeeding Rodgers, a 39-year-old who won a Super Bowl and four NFL MVP Awards. But those inside the building — publicly and behind closed doors — are intrigued about the young quarterback’s future.

General manager Brian Gutekunst believes that Love has the “it factor” that makes a championship quarterback. This includes dedication, work ethic, certain physical traits, and intelligence. Gutekunst is not the only one who believes in Love’s potential. Rodgers has praised Love, saying he has done an excellent job of improving, working on the little things, and has a chance to have a long future in the league.

Love has seen limited game action, starting just one regular-season game in his first three seasons. In 2022, he completed 6 of 9 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown while keeping the Packers in contention in the fourth quarter during an eventual 40-33 loss to the Eagles on “Sunday Night Football” in Philadelphia. However, even Love admitted that the Eagles played soft coverage to protect their lead as the Packers fell to 4-8.

While Love has shown promise, what he will amount to as a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL is still guesswork. The Packers are betting on his potential, having traded up to draft him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Gutekunst said Love is ready to start and that doing so is the next step in his progression as an NFL quarterback after learning under Rodgers for the same three-year period that Rodgers did under Favre.

Love’s opportunity to be the guy could’ve come in Green Bay or elsewhere if he requested a trade upon Rodgers’ return and the Packers granted his request. However, now, we know that his chance to do so will be for the team that drafted him. The pressure is on Love to live up to the high standards set by his predecessors and lead the Packers to success.

With Rodgers shipped off to New York, the front office wasted no time starting their transition plan to build a strong supporting cast around Love, their future quarterback. Armed with the extra first-round pick from the Jets, additional second and sixth-round selections in 2023, and a conditional second-round choice in 2024, the Packers had much draft capital to work with.

They strategically utilized these picks to add promising young talents to their roster. In the first round, they selected defensive end Lukas Van Ness, a player expected to bring a disruptive presence to their defense. In the second round, the Packers bolstered their receiving corps with the selection of Jayden Reed, a dynamic wide receiver, and Luke Musgrave, a talented tight end who can create mismatches in the passing game.

Recognizing the importance of depth at the tight end position, the Packers continued to invest in the third round by drafting Tucker Kraft from South Dakota State. These young players, infused with talent and potential, have the opportunity to contribute significantly and help usher in a new era of Packers football, with Jordan Love leading the charge from under center. Their development and impact on the field will be crucial in determining the success of the Packers’ transition and the team’s ability to maintain their winning tradition.

The Packers organization has a history of successful quarterbacks. Before Rodgers, Brett Favre led the team to a Super Bowl victory in 1997 and won three consecutive NFL MVP awards from 1995-1997. Rodgers faced the challenge of following in Favre’s footsteps when he took over as the starter in 2008. Still, he surpassed the legendary gunslinger in most career measurables over the past 15 years.

Love will have big shoes to fill as he takes over as the starting quarterback for the Packers. The team’s success will largely depend on his ability to perform at a high level and lead the team to victory. While the future is uncertain, there is hope that Love will rise to the challenge and continue the Packers’ tradition of successful quarterbacks. Fans will eagerly watch and wait to see what he can do on the field.

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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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