Devin Lloyd - OLB - Utah
Welcome to the rookie profile for Devin Lloyd. Lloyd may just be the best linebacker of the class. Lloyd can do it all, he can blitz, block and cover tight ends. He is also a linebacker that will be able to make a big impact in a pass-happy NFL thanks to his ability to cover consistently. A leader on the pitch with the Utes in their solid defense.
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 235 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.70s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Devin Lloyd was a three-star recruit out of high school and wasn’t heavily recruited receiving only one offer from the Power Five; Lloyd took this offer from Utah and has never looked back since, you can’t help but think that the high profile collegiate programs will be kicking themselves for not taking a chance on the highly talented linebacker.
In Lloyd’s freshman year he didn’t get much playing time as he only featured 3 times for Utah and mustered up 6 tackles however in his sophomore year he was named as a starter and began to make a name for himself; he made 14 starts and amassed 91 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks and a 64 yard pick six. Lloyd earned himself an honorable mention in the Pac-12 for his performances.
A COVID hit 2020 meant that in a shortened season the Utes only played 5 games with Lloyd featuring in all of them, still managing to put up some impressive numbers as he racked up 48 tackles, crazily he nearly matched his previous year’s tackle for loss numbers with 10.0 through 5 games, 2 sacks and a forced fumble. As a result of his impressive performances Lloyd earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors and was a finalist for the Butkus Award, missing out on the award to Cleveland Browns Jeremiah Owusu-Koramah.
In his past season it’s safe to say that Lloyd has well and truly put himself on the radar as one of the best, if not the best linebacker in this year’s draft class and he will be a 1st round selection. It’s not hard to see why as he continued his impressive collegiate form, playing 14 games he put together 111 tackles, 22.0 tackles for a loss, 7.0 sacks, a forced fumble and 4 interceptions, taking 2 of them to the house. Lloyd earned first-team All-Pac 12 and Consensus first-team All-American honors.
Lloyd is a natural leader as shown throughout his time in Utah and is a natural born winner who will lead from the front. He’s an excellent pre-snap communicator who will get things organized for his teammates before the ball is snapped, often seeking out mismatches across the field and diagnosing plays well thanks to his good footballing IQ, an area of his game that keeps improving each time I watch him play, all you need to do is look at his tape year on year and it’s easy to see. NFL teams will love this part of his game as they are always on the lookout for a serial competitor and leader in the locker room.
Lloyd is a high-octane player who will play at full speed with a good motor and is willing to get involved in the blocking game. Scouts will love his versatility that is so important in the modern NFL game. He is the definition of a modern-day linebacker who saw time at ‘Mike’ OLB on the EDGE and at ‘Will’ lining up anywhere across the formation, excellent in the blitz game when called upon. Lloyd is brutal against the run game and in coverage is versatile; despite his build he holds up traffic, sheds and pursues very well.
Lloyd’s physical prowess makes him a good athlete with a frame that matches a stereotypical NFL linebacker, he plays at 100% all the time and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line to make big plays. His excellent motor allows him to play all snaps and he rarely leaves the field, crucial for NFL teams to have their playmakers on the field in defense for the big money downs.
Lloyd may be a good athlete but he’s far from elite level, his change of direction and his balance can look quite clunky at times. He’ll be trending towards the top of scouting reports for the position but an area of concern will be the elite pass catching backs as they will cause problems for him.
At times Lloyd can be over aggressive in his approach play and overrun his lanes, throughout college he has had the speed to recover but against the elite he may not find it as easy to recover as well.
Tackles are able to handle his frame quite easily on pass-rushing reps and whilst he has continued to bulk up throughout college he will definitely need to continue this at the next level to continue to make a similar impact as we’ve seen him make in college.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 1
The biggest need for the Philadelphia Eagles is at the linebacker position and whilst the linebacker pick in the 1st round isn’t a sexy pick it’s proved to be extremely beneficial for Tampa Bay who drafted Devin White and Pittsburgh who drafted Devin Bush, both are now crucial pieces for the Buccaneers and the Steelers.
Lloyd could have a similar impression that Devin White has provided the Buccaneers, his leadership qualities and his elite work rate would instantly make the guys around him much better with a hunger to go after every play. The Eagles have three first round picks and a defense that needs some attention so they can afford to take a linebacker early.
I love the thought of Lloyd getting selected by the Broncos but I just cannot see them using their 9th overall pick on him. Yes, the Denver defense has a lot of quality but one area that needs attention for the Broncos is at linebacker. Lloyd would immediately improve the heart of their defense and be able pick up the leadership skills that the departed Von Miller brought to their locker room
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Image Credit: Rob Gray – USA TODAY Sports