NAME: Bryce Love
JERSEY: No. 20
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 196 lbs
Vision –Can be passive pressing into the line of scrimmage, would be well served to get in line behind his pullers and be more quick to make a move up the field to diminish negative runs. Second level vision is tremendous to break into space and avoid pursuit.
Feet/Change of Direction –Likable awareness of utilizing trail foot to toe drag and slow quickly for sudden cuts. Needs to be more aware of sustaining forward momentum and not spending too much time as a stationary target. Natural balance as a free runner to cut and contort is strong.
Durability –Has not had a healthy season in either of the two seasons in which he was asked to be a feature back. Slight frame is a notable cause for concern, will be a barrier to high volume workloads. Has suffered lower body injuries that inhibit cut ability even when he can play through.
Balance –Control of hips and feet allow for sudden cuts and shifts in his weight. Has the physical ability to carry speed through cuts as well although discipline to press forward is not always consistent. Contact balance is soft, does not play through lateral contact well.
Pass Protection –Is not physical enough in protection. Will get pushed around by defenders looking to get into the face of the passer, Love simply lacks the anchor needed to drop down and hold his ground effectively. 3rd down reps would be better served as a receiver.
Elusiveness –Highly elusive runner with skill in setting up tacklers in the alleyway to take false steps and miss. Lateral quickness is superb, capable of cutting or bouncing suddenly into the sideline. Second gear is tremendous…when healthy.
Receiving Ability –Usage has been highly limited after a promising freshman season in 2015. Has all the needed quickness to win out of the backfield in match-ups against linebackers, although will need a lot of reps to catch up for limited development in this area.
Short Yardage Skill –Does not possess any notable levels of contact balance or lower leg drive to push through the pile and help force conversions on his own. Gets stacked up and pulled down far too easily by tacklers when challenged by a free arm in space.
Football Intelligence –Has received hand-offs from numerous alignments in the backfield: heavy backfields, single back, shotgun, etc. Irregular results with vision and setting up blockers, can’t seem to transition out of the mesh point without a delayed reaction if first hole isn’t available.
Effort –Illustrated some of the most impressive mental toughness I’ve witnessed in recent memory, gutting out large parts of 2017 season on a bum ankle. Can be guilty at times of trying to make too much happen in the backfield, for better and for worse.
BEST TRAIT – Elusiveness
WORST TRAIT – Durability
BEST FILM – UCLA (2017)
WORST FILM – San Diego State (2018)
RED FLAGS – Durability concerns
Stanford RB Bryce Love projects most favorably as part of a stable of backs, his lack of durability is a significant barrier to featured success. In addition, Love struggles to consistently follow his blockers in power rushing concepts and can be passive pressing the line of scrimmage. As a result, his speed to the perimeter would be best implemented as an outside zone back and regular rotation of snaps.
PROS: Excellent linear runner with elite acceleration as well as top speed. Weaver with an inherent knack for feeling space in the second and third level; understands his and others’ athletic ability very well to win corners/make players miss. Contact melts off of his frame, in large part due to his feel for space and his smoke-like burst. Many, many tackle attempts end up arm tackles/dives. Elusive via feel and explosiveness, not through elite agility. Notably successful on stretch concepts, on which his reads and timing are almost perfect. Highly industrious footwork with clearly practiced toe drags/skips/jump cuts to present an even more difficult target in space for would-be tacklers. Willing pass protector who can lower his pads into contact.
CONS: Vision and instincts aren’t particularly strong–doesn’t anticipate or set up second level defenders as well as you’d like. Isn’t overwhelmingly agile–lateral quickness more a result of industrious movement than athletic ability. A slugger, but not a consistent hitter: most runs that make it to the second or third level were untouched and perfectly blocked. Will lock in on one defensive key, typically a first level defender, and miss clear cutback lanes/bounce paths. A tad upright when running and not overwhelmingly powerful. Hands and pass protection both need work, which may limit his deployment in NFL.