NAME: Julian Love
SCHOOL: Notre Dame
JERSEY: No. 27
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 193 lbs
Man Cover Skills –Has some pretty impressive reps when he’s encouraged to play in the contact window and re-route and then squeeze receivers down the field. Breaks well when his hand is on the hip of his man and can transition to run routes effectively with back to the QB.
Zone Cover Skills –Has been tasked with all sorts of coverages and his best work has come when he’s in the flats of C-2. Doesn’t have the burst or back end feel to play and deep portions and cover a large amount of real estate, although he’s smart so could pick up deep thirds with more reps.
Feet/Change of Direction –Patient at the line of scrimmage, like that he doesn’t afford the swinging gate and stays square to the LOS to offer maximum resistance. His general explosive qualities are only modest, wouldn’t classify him as lethargic but he’s not elite.
Ball Skills –Tremendous production, courtesy of great sense of timing to play over the shoulder and greet the football with his inside hand. Reactive quickness in close quarters helps him get a beat on the ball. Does well in back shoulder throws to get vertical and break the hands.
Flexibility –He’s a little stiff, hence the restrictions in burst and spring when he’s isolated on an island or playing off man. He’s so comfortable and natural when he’s playing on the frame of a receiver, he can run any break and stay sticky.
Acceleration –He has build-up speed, which is why his role in bump coverage is essential to his success. Can get eaten up in off man coverage or when left on an island to drift and carry a route through his designated area. Has lost footraces to the end zone.
Zone Spacing –Lack of initial quickness, despite good offerings with his footwork, seem to hinder click and close vs. quick game. He’s been caught guessing deep (Vanderbilt, 2018) trying to undercut another route and drifting too far away from primary man in his zone.
Competitive Toughness –Is super persistent on route stems. He does a really nice job of feeling and dictating terms to receivers on their release and at the top of their routes. Surprisingly inconsistent in transitioning those reps to handle run support, however.
Run Support –He’s effective when he’s free. Brings good effort in all phases but he’s a little late to discard of blockers on the boundary and would like to see him more assertive in this phase of his game.
Tackling –His wrap up ability at the catch point is strong, he’s pretty effective to keep his upfield arm wrapped as he makes a play to challenge the football. Has gotten sloppy in RAC opportunities a few times and tried to cut down receivers, only to be side-stepped.
BEST TRAIT – Man Cover Skills
WORST TRAIT – Acceleration
BEST FILM – Stanford (2018)
WORST FILM – Vanderbilt (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Julian Love projects as a starting cornerback in the NFL, but with scheme specific restrictions that will be hard to bypass. Love is at his best in bump and run coverage, when he’s able to dictate terms early and then able to feel the receiver’s weight distribution while carrying him down the field. Love’s functional athleticism and some hesitancy in zone coverage put a greater curve to his development, teams hoping to optimize his ball skills would be wise to leave him in man.
PROS: Quick feet to mirror-and-match receivers in man coverage. Explodes to the ball from a standstill in underneath coverage. Reads the 3-step game well and processing the action in front of him quickly. Makes plays on the ball with ability to close on routes breaking in front of him. From off coverage, uses hands well to re-direct and even jam up a receiver down the field (albeit testing the illegal contact rules). Instincts and anticipation are pluses. Appears to have the long speed to stay on top of receivers. Off-coverage is currently his bread-and-butter.
CONS: Not especially big or fast for a corner. Both categories might check the box, but neither will be his calling card in NFL. Arms appear short. Can get over-eager in his footwork in press, forcing himself into recovery mode early. Has to use his hands more effectively in press, allows for clean releases far too easily. If receiver gains positioning on him early, he struggles to recover. Big hitch in his transition from pedal to moving forward hinder otherwise excellent click-and-close. Susceptible to double moves. Allows more separation than he should at times because of inefficient footwork. Too many false steps at the top of routes and at the line of scrimmage. Can be late to turn and run with receivers, allowing vertical separation.