Speed: Isn’t the fastest prospect in the class by any means, but can run on a functional level with most receivers. Doesn’t seem to offer much in terms closing/recovery speed because it takes some time to reach his top gear. Usually struggles to catch up with pass catchers if they get on top of the route. Often uses his instincts more than his athleticism to close on underneath passes as well.
Hip Fluidity/Change of Direction: Can flip his hips to run adequately, yet isn’t twitchy in doing so. His feet are his most effective way of change directions. They are nimble and allow him to mirror and match receivers at the LOS. Lateral skills are average, better mover north and south. Also shows some decent burst when closing forward from off coverage.
Balls Skills: Balls skills are exceptional when defending passes in font of him. Specializes at sitting on/jumping routes to make plays on the ball. Also, does a great job of prying the ball out of receivers hands once they attempt to catch it. With all of this being said, he has some trouble finding the ball vertically. There is no consistency in the timing in which he turns his to locate the football. Indicating that he guesses and doesn’t read his man for keys. Also times where he won’t turn his head at all. Must improve at this part of his to be relied upon in man coverage.
Press Technique: Usually reroutes receivers in zone with a solid jam and improved in press as the season went on. But would still like to see him get better at this part of his game. There are too many times where he let’s his man get a free release off the LOS. Needs to initiate his jam earlier into the rep. Flashes good timing every now and then, just must be more consistent. Also, struggles maintaining contact against in breaking routes (slants, skinny posts, and digs). Would like to him use better positioning by closing the space between he and his receiver in this situations.
Run Support: Willing tackler and uses pretty good form. Can occasionally lay the wood, but not overly instinctive when diagnosing run plays. Needs to do a better job of shedding blocks as well.
Route Recognition: Does a great job of keying in on his receiver’s tendencies to determine what route they are running. Also display the ability to recognize specific passing concepts before they happen. Very smart in off coverage and zone. Very good at staying in the hip pocket of receivers when breaking to back towards the football on curls and comebacks.
Competitive Toughness: Isn’t overly physical, yet definitely has some “dog” in him. Always gives maximum effort and competes for the football. Confidence is evident through aggressive style of play (coverage wise).
Best Trait: Route Recognition
Worst Trait: Long Speed
Best Film: NC State (2017)
Worst Film: Vanderbilt (2018)
Julian Love is a smart and competitive corner who plays with good technique. He might not have elite physical traits, but they are still good enough to be solid starter at the next level. But because he doesn’t a trump card trait to “hang his hat on.” He must iron out his two major technical flaws, which is the timing in which he presses receivers at LOS and locating the football vertically. If he does improve these parts of his game, a man coverage scheme would be ideal for his skill set.
- Ledyard, Jon. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: Julian Love.” The Draft Network, 8 Aug. 2018, thedraftnetwork.com/2018/08/02/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-julian-love/.