Perhaps the best linebacker in the 2022 NFL draft class, Utah’s Devin Lloyd will take his dynamic style of play to the next level, and hope to come off the board early in the first round.
Here is everything you need to know about the Utes’ three-down playmaker:
Class: Redshirt Senior
40 time: 4.66
Lloyd has an elite physical profile combined with eye popping production, and his ferocious play style leaps off the screen. He’s able to quickly close on runners from any position, blowing through blockers and zooming to the ball, punishing opponents with quickness and physicality.
He was the clear leader of the Utah defense and was a jack of many trades, as shown by his stat line of 111 tackles, 8 sacks, 5 turnovers, and 2 touchdowns. Lloyd found many different ways to make impact plays from multiple positions, as he slotted in at every linebacker position during last season, playing each of them at an extremely high level.
On top of Lloyd’s traditional off-ball linebacker skills, he also excels as a pass rusher, using his long arms to box out blockers and burst past them with effectiveness and consistency. His aggressive style of play translates to every part of his game, from tackling and rushing the passer to getting after opposing quarterbacks.
Lloyd can sometimes struggle in finding his place against zone runs, allowing his aggressiveness to get in the way, leading to over-pursuit of the ball carrier and whiffing on his assignment. There are also times when that same type of aggressive pursuit gets him caught up on reverses, where he can’t flip his hips fast enough to catch up to the play.
He’s also a bit raw in coverage, where he sometimes feels stiff and out of place if he is not able to diagnose the play, and finds himself behind the ball after it’s thrown.
Lloyd will be an intriguing case come draft day. His physical playing style will translate well to certain types of defenses, but teams will have to be comfortable with how much refinement he still needs in coverage. Even so, Lloyd should be a first-round pick, the first linebacker off the board, and an immediate starter.
Projection: 1st Round