Julian Love had to sit through two long days of the NFL Draft without hearing his name called. Luckily he didn’t have to wait too long on Saturday to finally come off the board when the New York Giants selected him in the 4th round with 108th overall pick ending a slide for the projected 2nd rounder.
There were 11 cornerbacks selected on the first two days of the draft over Love including one by the same New York Giants team that selected him. The Giants took Deandre Baker from Georgia with the 30th overall pick in the Draft.
Ironically, the Giants, who made one of the biggest 1st round reaches in recent years with Daniel Jones of Duke, ended up also landing one of the best value picks of the draft. Many had Love tabbed as a 2nd round talent after a consensus All-American season capped off with being named a finalist for Thorpe Award.
Love joins a very young Giants backfield and will still have an opportunity for early playing time even as a 4th round pick. The Giants had one of the worst secondaries in the entire NFL in 2018. Love will challenge for the nickel position from day one in New York most likely.
Falling to the 4th round is going to undoubtedly raise questions about Love’s decision to leave after his junior year, but hindsight is always 20/20. There were reports that Love’s evaluation from the NFL Advisory Committee returned a stay in school recommendation, but days after Notre Dame’s loss to Clemson; Love announced he was leaving for the NFL.
At the time, it seemed like a sound decision. Love’s brief absence in the Cotton Bowl allowed Clemson to explode for a 2nd quarter outburst that Notre Dame never recovered from. When Love was on the field for Notre Dame, Clemson had some trouble moving the ball. Without him, Clemson moved the ball at will.
Still, Love was by passed 11 times in favor of other cornerbacks in this year’s draft. Some – many most – of those teams could look back and regret passing on Love. He was unheralded out of high school without many offers other than Notre Dame and he became an All-American and Thorpe finalist. He very easily could end up having a long and prosperous career in the NFL.
No other Notre Dame players have been drafted on Day 3 about half way through the 4th round. Drue Tranquill and Tevon Coney at least should hear their names called while Dexter Williams, Alize Mack, Justin Yoon, and Alex Bars could all be drafted still today as well.