Why the Slide?: Julian Love

Why the Slide?: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Five years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. Three years ago, we started the Why the Slide? series, and this year it is back. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

The 2019 NFL Draft was known to be a weak year at the cornerback position, but in the passing-driven NFL, there is always a demand for players who can help a defense in coverage. Thus, one had to figure there would be plenty of teams hoping to land Love. In the storied history of Notre Dame football, Love rewrote the record book with the most pass breakups in school history. In 38 career games with 34 starts, Love collected a tremendous total of 39 passes broken up and was a real asset to helping the Fighting Irish to field one of the best defenses in the nation.

During his freshman season, Love broke into the starting lineup for the final eight games and got off to a good start with 45 tackles, three breakups, one forced fumble and an interception. Love then had a strong 2017 season for the Fighting Irish, totaling 68 tackles with three interceptions and 20 passes broken up. As a junior, Love recorded 63 tackles with 16 passes broken up and an interception. He played really well for Notre Dame and was an unsung hero of the defense.

In speaking to team sources, Love slipped to the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft because of size and speed concerns, mainly the latter. At the combine, Love ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds, and that is a slower time for a cornerback, illustrating that he could have problems with NFL speed receivers. At 5-foot-10 and weighing under 200 pounds, Love also is not a big corner to match up against speed receivers.

The New York Giants ended Love’s fall in the fourth round, which was an excellent landing spot for him. They entered the draft needing a lot of help at cornerback. The organization traded back into the first round to select DeAndre Baker, and he is their No.1 corner of the future, but the team needed more talent around him. Janoris Jenkins may not be on the team much longer, and there aren’t other established veterans on the roster. In the not too distant future, Love could be the starter across from Baker and benefit by not taking on other team’s No. 1 receivers. Love could become a solid starter for the Giants as he is an instinctive corner who is a pure football player. While Love slid lower than expected in the 2019 NFL Draft, he could easily outplay his draft position and become a good player for New York.

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 12

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 9

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12