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Utah LB Devin Lloyd
Yahoo Sports' 2022 NFL draft grade
6.12 — possible first-rounder; possible immediate starter
TL;DR scouting report
Three-down playmaker and box-score stuffer with good size and athleticism who can be a bit clunky and a tick slow to react at times
A 2-star Rivals recruit as a safety, Lloyd committed to the Utes over mostly Group of Five schools (and lower). After redshirting in 2017 and playing as a reserve linebacker in 2018, Lloyd earned the starting rover job in 2019 and started his final three seasons, accumulating 43 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, five interceptions (three TD returns), nine pass breakups, one forced fumble and one recovery. Lloyd was a two-time Butkus Award finalist and the 2021 Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year.
Consistently good production over three seasons — always around the ball
Terrific physicality, unafraid of sticking his nose in the trash
Quick-strike ability — can come from off the screen to make a play
Tracks down ballcarriers from behind with plus pursuit
Clear three-down ability — agile in pass coverage (former safety) with nice ball production
100 return yards on five career INTs, with three pick-sixes
Multiple big plays in pass coverage, including absurd pick-six vs. Stanford
Keeps eyes peeled in zone coverage — good peripheral vision to spot crossers
Sneaky good pass-rush ability — times up rushes well and closes fast
Can play every LB spot effectively and walk out to the slot
Might be able to add some mass and maintain quickness
Doesn't freelance or recklessly guess often
Had standout performances last season in coverage (pick-six vs. Oregon in Pac-12 championship), as run defender (Stanford game) an pass rusher (Arizona State game)
Considered to have strong intangibles, work ethic — self-driven, disciplined player raised in military family
Willing special teamer
Looked surprisingly stiff in combine positional drills
Lacks oily hips to bend, change directions quickly
Doesn't always power through blocks in the hole
Still learning how to stack and shed and break down blocks
Can lose initial step in coverage
Will let quicker pass catchers gain step on him (see Arizona State, Ohio State games)
Can gain depth in zone quicker
Occasionally sloppy tackler who fails to wrap up
Well insulated on talented defense with good D-line
Could get his hands on even more passes with sped-up recognition
Lloyd is a tone-setting glue player who has made himself into a top-tier playmaker. He might have an up-and-down first season or two in the NFL, adjusting to pro concepts and speed, but has the temperament, athletic profile and will to be a standout in the league. He'd fit into just about any system and can be tasked with complex assignments in time. A future green-dot defender.
Did you know
Lloyd was a safety, receiver and punter in high school, once booting a 60-yard kick. His father, Joe, served in the Navy as a communications officer for 26 years. His mother, Ronyta, also served before Devin's birth.
Could end up as a Chad Greenway-type performer in the NFL.
Expected draft range
Mid to late first-round pick.