Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love was mentioned as a possible 1st round pick in the most recent NFL Mock Draft by CBS Sports.
It’s NFL Mock Draft season, and we’re starting to get an idea of what certain NFL teams are looking for and how scouts and analysts perceive certain prospects. In one recent mock, Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love was mentioned as a potential first-rounder.
Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports mocked Love to the Los Angeles Rams with the 32nd overall pick. Wilson mentions that Love was one of the nation’s best cornerbacks and calls him “undersized but tenacious.”
In the past, Love’s size probably would have been a bigger issue. A lot of teams historically targeted bigger receivers who were tough matchups against sub-six foot corners — especially in jump-ball situations. The new NFL offenses, however, seem to be about stockpiling speedy, shifty route-runners in the mold of guys like Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman and Tyreek Hill.
When it comes to defending those types of players, Julian Love is about as good of a matchup that you can ask for. He possesses the speed and agility to run with those guys, while also having the wherewithal to go after the ball without drawing penalties. Additionally, Love is an elite tackler in the open field, which makes him an asset against the run and on screen passes to those same shifty receivers.
As the NFL Scouting combine gets closer, we’ll probably see more mocks listing Julian Love as a first rounder. As long as he shows up to the combine and performs as advertised, that should be enough to solidify his stock as a late first or early second-round draft pick.