LOCALS IN THE NFL

NFL Fans Wishing For More Local Quarterback Play For Christmas

Dec 24, 2020, 10:00 AM | Updated: 11:05 am
Alex Smith - Taysom Hill - Jordan Love...
Courtesy of Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Locals fans of college football and the NFL are wishing for more quarterback action this Christmas season.

Currently, the University of Utah, BYU, and Utah State are all represented at the position in the National Football League.

In 2020, Utah’s Alex Smith experienced a remarkable comeback, and Tyler Huntley received playing time. BYU’s Taysom Hill received his first career starts. But Utah State’s Jordan Love has been inactive through 15 weeks of the season.

This Christmas, fans of local players in the NFL, myself included, are wishing for more game reps.

Alex Smith – Washington Football Team

I’ve written about Smith’s story during the offseason and his miraculous comeback during the first 15 weeks of games, and it still amazes me.

A man that nearly lost a limb and his life is back to playing at the highest level.

Smith’s prime is in the rearview mirror and that’s okay. He’s 36 years old and has played in the league since his rookie season in 2005.

Washington needs a young quarterback of the future. Kyle Allen and Dwayne Haskins haven’t shown enough in their careers to convince me and I believe the Washington Football Team management.

If Washington decides to draft a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft, Smith would be an excellent signal-caller for that young player to learn from.

The former Utah star is under contract for two more seasons. I’d love to see him start next season after a healthy offseason under his belt.

After all, I think he deserves it following his comeback from that brutal leg injury in 2018.

Tyler Huntley – Baltimore Ravens

Following his promotion to the Baltimore Ravens’ active from the practice squad, Huntley saw his first live action in the NFL during Week 15.

Huntley’s future is fascinating to me.

He has a great senior season at Utah and the Ravens clearly like what they’ve seen from him, including head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Huntley is in a great position being able to learn from a Super Bowl-winning coach and former MVP quarterback.

Jackson is firmly entrenched as Baltimore’s franchise quarterback and is only three years into his career.

I don’t know if Huntley’s a starting quarterback in the NFL, but I’d love to see him have the opportunity in a year or two.

If Baltimore is able to give him some more reps next season during a blowout game or two, I could see Huntley get a shot on another team.

Taysom Hill – New Orleans Saints

We finally got the chance to see Hill as a starting quarterback in the NFL. While his four games in replacement of Drew Brees weren’t perfect, they convinced me that the former BYU star is up to the task.

Hill led New Orleans to a 3-1 record during his time as a starter.

In those four games, Hill was 82/144 passing for 834 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. He also had 209 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Brees contemplated retirement after the 2019 season and will probably do so after this year is over. The future hall of fame player has battled injuries and missed time each of the past two seasons. He hasn’t looked spectacular but the Saints have excellent players around him on offense and their defense is spectacular.

I believe that this is Brees’ last season, despite him having a season left on his contract. Hill’s shown that he’s ready for prime time and Saints head coach Sean Payton believes in him.

Get ready for a Taysom Hill led Saints team in 2021.

Jordan Love – Green Bay Packers

When the Packers moved up in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to select Love, I was stunned.

Prior to the draft, I broke down all of the potential landing spots for the former Utah State quarterback and didn’t have Green Bay anywhere near my list.

The one thing I loved about Love’s landing spot in the midwest was the chance to learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game.

Aaron Rodgers is a future hall of famer, who is still playing at the peak of his powers.

Green Bay is currently 11-3 and sits in first place in the NFC.

Love has been inactive for all 14 games so far this season.

I hope that during this 2020 season Love has been a sponge, learning everything he can from Rodgers and seeing how he can improve his game.

Rodgers is 37 years old but he’s still under contract until 2024.

If Green Bay decides to ride with Rodgers until the end of his career, I hope Love can get traded to a team that needs a quarterback. There are plenty of those.

I’d assume Love is still Green Bay’s quarterback of the future but I’d love to see him as the team’s No. 2 next season.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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