LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

6’3” – 235 lbs.

Background:

Was a safety, wide receiver, and punter in high school. Made six tackles as a redshirt freshman, then stepped into a starting role and went 91-11.0-6.5 as a sophomore, running back his only interception for a touchdown. Picked up 48-10.0-2.0 over five games as a junior. Finished his collegiate career by putting together a massive senior campaign of 110-22.0-8.0, intercepting four passes and taking two to the house.

Positives:

Highly productive team captain who plays on the inside for a defense which often uses just three down linemen. Plays the game with patience and discipline, but still managed to make a lot of big plays in opposing backfields over the past three seasons; reads keys well and avoids getting fooled by misdirection or window dressing. Does a nice job of working through congestion. Contact balance is very good, especially considering his bulk is just adequate. Capable of pursuing over to the sidelines. Angles to the ball are very sound, with solid closing burst and reliable open-field tackling to sling down ballcarriers running east-west. Flashes the ability to deliver big hits and help set the tone defensively. Shows active hands and physicality when blitzing; was also asked to rush from the edge at times. Shows controlled movements and a relaxed temperament in zone coverage, keeping the play in front of him. Ran back three total interceptions for touchdowns over his career, and has a high school background at receiver and safety.

Negatives:

Has been in college for five years, so he’s a little bit older than teams may prefer. Has a slim build with thin legs; still in the process of adding bulk. A good athlete, but without the elite explosiveness common in recent years among high draft picks at the position. Can get stuck on blocks slightly longer than you’d like when he lets opponents into his frame, or washed wide of rushing lanes on stretch plays. Edge rushes can stall out if his initial move doesn’t work. Was predominantly in zone coverage during the games reviewed; would like to see him in man coverage.

Summary:

A very productive linebacker prospect who reads keys and flows to the ball very well, taking efficient angles and making plays both between the tackles and out toward the sidelines; managed to rack up a ton of tackles for loss and splash plays without gambling and getting caught out of position on other snaps. In addition to his reliability in the run game, looks like a true every-down linebacker who can find gaps in the protection as a blitzer or handle zone responsibilities in coverage. Should be one of the first off-ball linebackers drafted.

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