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There is plenty of credit to go around for Notre Dame's advancement to the college football playoffs in 2018, with Love - one of three finalists for the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back - certainly deserving of some appreciation.
He signed with the Irish as a highly touted prep and immediately lived up to his billing, playing in all 12 games and starting the final eight contests of his first season on campus. He would go on to start the next two seasons, as well, leaving Notre Dame for the NFL after just three years as the school's all-time leader with 39 career passes broken up.
Love possesses a compact, athletic frame with good overall weight and muscular distribution. An active, athletic defender who shows awareness of routes around him, rather than locking onto just his primary assignment. Quick to vacate his initial responsibility to pursue the ball, attacking upfield on underneath routes. Instincts, hand-eye coordination and downhill explosiveness show with his staggering 36 passes defensed over the past two seasons.
Shows good patience in coverage, forcing receivers to beat him with speed before over-reacting to double-moves. He is a consistent, face-up tackler who does a nice job of wrapping his arms securely to limit yards after contact. While not an elite athlete, Love shows good balance, quickness and vision in the open field, as well as functional straight-line speed for pursuit and when he has the ball in his hands. Returned three of his nine career turnovers forced (five INTs, four fumble recoveries) for touchdowns.
Average straight-line speed shown at the Combine (4.54-second 40-yard dash), which shows up on tape. A bit high in his backpedal and loses a step in his transition, allowing windows that quarterbacks challenged, giving Love plenty of opportunities to pad his PBU numbers but also resulting in plenty of receptions for opposing receivers.
Loses effectiveness in coverage the further he gets downfield with the vast majority of his pass breakups occurring on underneath routes.
Projection: Third Round
--Field Level Media