With Adrian Amos a free agent and Darnell Savage coming off of an underwhelming year, the Packers could look to upgrade at safety. One option could be former Giants safety Julian Love. In 2022, the four-year veteran recorded 124 tackles, 6 TFLs, 2 interceptions, 5 PBUs, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. Love was appointed a team captain before the season, and was recently named one of the NFL’s most improved players by Nate Tice of The Athletic. Love is a versatile, athletically talented safety who can help fill the void left by Amos.
Love is a willing, capable tackler in the run game. As a box player, he plays with physicality and a willingness to step up in holes and take on contact. As a subpackage linebacker here, he works through traffic and shows off short-area explosiveness to secure the run stop.
Love’s angles coming from the roof aren’t always perfect, but he is still an effective tackler, using his processing, downhill speed, and change-of-direction ability to bring down ballcarriers.
Love plays with intelligence, good eyes, and fluid athletic ability as a cover defender. Operating as a deep safety in this clip, he spots the post route coming from the other side of the field and ranges over to shut it down, forcing the QB to scramble.
When tasked with playing man coverage, Love demonstrates good eye discipline, footwork, and fluid hips. Defending a tight end double-move here, he reads the route stem perfectly, shows off his change-of-direction ability and eliminates the route, forcing a throwaway.
Love frequently showed off an excellent awareness of coverage angles when nailing down on crossing routes. His impressive speed allows him to cover crossers even when handicapped by alignment or leverage. Here, despite being at a disadvantage defending an Over route that is bending away from his leverage – run by a WR no less – Love flashes his acceleration and breaks up the pass.
Love is a decent blitzer when called upon. Despite a smaller frame, he is willing to fight through contact in pursuit of the ballcarrier. In this clip, he rockets through the B gap, working through the tackle’s attempt at an arm block to secure the sack.
Love was a regular special teams player, especially on kickoffs and punt returns. His rangy athleticism and tackling ability came in handy in these roles.
As the punt protector on this play, he blocks a Seattle rusher then hustles down the field to help make the tackle on the returner.
Love may not fill up the stat sheet with splash plays, but he is a useful jack-of-all-trades. He can be a competent run defender in the box, blanket tight ends with his athletic ability, or erase routes on the back end. He could help replace some of Adrian Amos’ ability to operate as a safety blanket for the rest of the defense – his combination of physical traits, football intelligence, and a workmanlike attitude would be a boost to any defense. He may not break the bank either – PFF recently estimated that he would garner a little less than $8 million per year on the free agent market.
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