In wins over the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs the past two weeks, Jordan Love has shown real signs of promise as a franchise quarterback. If Love continues to deliver on this promise, he would join Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and Jalen Hurts as quarterbacks from the 2020 draft class to become franchise guys. With each QB in the first two rounds from that draft materializing like this, it prompts the question – could 2020 become one of the greatest QB draft classes ever? Let’s take a look at each pick in the first two rounds and dive deeper.
Pick 1: Joe Burrow
Coming off a phenomenal season for LSU where he led the Tigers to the National Championship and won a Heisman, Burrow was the consensus No. 1 overall pick and a no-brainer choice for the Cincinnati Bengals. After a torn ACL cut his rookie season short, Burrow has lived up to the number one billing. Thanks to his accuracy and poise, he turned the Bengals into instant contenders, making a Super Bowl appearance in just his second NFL season while winning Comeback Player of the Year. He topped it off by leading them back to the AFC Championship Game last season, before losing to the Chiefs.
Burrow is on a down year again due to injuries. But the Bengals should no doubt contend again when he returns next season. He’s already proven his worth to the Bengals, earning the NFL’s highest-paid contract before the year began.
Pick 5: Tua Tagovailoa
After Burrow, Tua was picked fifth overall by the Miami Dolphins. Of the three quarterbacks taken in the Top 10, Tagovailoa faced the most question marks as he struggled with injuries and inconsistency his first two seasons. Thankfully, the Dolphins hired Mike McDaniel as their next coach — which turned out to be a phenomenal move for the organization and quarterback. With McDaniel Tua has emerged as an MVP candidate, and at one point this season led the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns.
He’s on his way to leading the Dolphins to his first AFC East title, and starting his first NFL playoff game.
Pick 6: Justin Herbert
Herbert is the gunslinger of this class, with an impeccably strong arm and talent. After Burrow went down their rookie years, Herbert won the Offensive Rookie of the Year while setting an NFL rookie record for most passing touchdowns with 31. Since, he’s only continued his roll as a high volume passer, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to start his career with three straight 4,000-yard passing seasons.
Unfortunately for Herbert, he’s in the worst coaching situation of all five with Brandon Staley sitting on the hot seat. He has one playoff appearance, but is part of a Chargers team notorious for blowing games they should win. Hopefully the Chargers can re-tool so Herbert’s talents don’t go to waste.
Pick 26: Jordan Love
Among the five, Love is the most unproven. This is largely because he spent his first three seasons backing up and learning from Aaron Rodgers. After a 2-5 start, the Packers seemed like they were in for a rebuild. Now with back-to-back games with three touchdown passes and wins over teams with winning records, Love may be the answer after all. The Packers are 6-6, and may sneak into the playoffs. It’s too early to say, but the future looks bright.
Pick 53: Jalen Hurts
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was seen as a questionable pick to some, but he’s in a great situation with the Eagles that’s allowed him to grow into the player he’s become. After leading the Eagles to a wildcard berth in 2021, the Eagles re-tooled their roster that offseason and became the NFC’s top seed with Hurts at the wheel. He helped Philadelphia dominate in the playoffs on the way to his first Super Bowl appearance and earning a second-team All-Pro nod.
In the offseason, he was awarded with the then highest-paid contract in NFL history before Lamar Jackson, Herbert and Burrow broke his mark. He’s off to another successful year with the Eagles, starting 10-2 and holding the NFL’s best record.
Overall there are two Super Bowl appearances, three division crowns, four Pro Bowls, three record-breaking contracts and five franchise leaders in just four years. Their success is already undeniable, and it’s only time they start to be acknowledged with the other historic QB classes.
The 2020 QB class is what the 2018 class was supposed to be, fulfilling the diminished potential of the 2012 class and with the chance to go down in history with the 2004 and 1983 quarterback classes when it’s all said and done.