2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Devin Lloyd

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Devin Lloyd

by December 20, 2021 5 comments

This year’s defensive class in the NFL draft is loaded, so, naturally, guys like Utah’s Devin Lloyd have not been talked about a ton. Now, Lloyd is still receiving consistent first-round projections from every major media source, but the X-Factor on the Utah defense could be more than your average first-rounder. Lloyd is one of many looking to crack the 10-12 range in the draft. Is he good enough to do so? Let’s find out. 

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Devin Lloyd

Jersey: No. 0

Position: Linebacker

School: Utah

Class: Redshirt Senior 

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 235 lbs

Games Watched: USC (2021), Stanford (2021), Oregon Week 11 (2021), Washington State (2020)

Major Injury History: None

Player Breakdown 

Instincts (14.75/15)

Instincts are the most important thing we look for in a linebacker, and boy does Llyod have them. He’s quick to diagnose the play and get going towards the ball while also having the reserve to stay patient, filter out blocks, and remain balanced on misdirections. Overall, this is far and away Lloyd’s best trait and the reason why NFL scouts will fall for him.

Tackling (13.25/15)

Lloyd is a good tackler but does have his fair share of misses here or there. For one, Lloyd is good when tackling in and out of position. When talking out of position, it’s not necessarily his fault that he’s not in the right spot, but Lloyd can be seen making multiple shoestring tackles in every game just when you think he won’t get to the ball carrier. Lloyd demonstrated this on the first play of the USC game when he shot the run and just got to the ball carrier with an ankle tackle. Overall, this is a very promising trait for a linebacker who will need to rely on his strengths at the next level.

Block Shedding (5.75/10)

This is the biggest area of concern for Lloyd. His block shedding is subpar, to say the least, and to be quite honest, the grade here is saved because of the flashes and potential Lloyd has shown. Lloyd is used on many blitzes but struggles to beat guys on the outside or the inside. He is, however, a lot better shedding against the run than he is the pass, but this is where Lloyd will have to improve most overall if he wants to succeed in the NFL.

Run Defense (9/10)

This is a pretty interesting one here. For the grade, we’ll project Lloyd to play in the middle of the field almost always because that’s where he thrives against the run. When he lines up as an edge, he fails to set the edge and normally cannot get off the immediate block to make a play. When he’s lined up outside the neutral zone, Lloyd is super patient and can break down blocks to seek out and attack the ball carrier. All in all, this is another strength that Lloyd needs to play to in the NFL. If he focuses on his strengths, he can be great.

Pursuit/ Closing Speed (8.75/10)

If we were to organize a group of linebacker prospects over the last few years, Lloyd’s pursuit ability would be more in the second tier of how good it is. He’s no Devin Bush in this area, but sideline-to-sideline speed is one of Lloyd’s great strengths. Coming downhill, he can fly to the ball and is pretty good moving towards his side as well. Overall, there are no complaints here, and Lloyd will have a good future if he can make use of his closing speed in the NFL.

Pass Rush Ability (7.25/10)

This was by far the hardest area to grade. Lloyd recorded seven sacks this season for the Utes, but he still somehow isn’t all that in the pass rush game. We have seen some great plays, like one excellent power move to get through the interior against Stanford, but as we alluded to when discussing block shedding, Lloyd just can’t get off sometimes. He’s going to be an effective blitzer from the MIKE spot at the next level, but in no way is his rush game good enough to become a Micah Parsons type defender.

Man Coverage (8.5/10)

Let’s start by saying that Lloyd is rarely tasked with playing in man coverage, but when he does get the opportunity, he’s locked down. In four games watched, Lloyd matched up with someone maybe 10 times, if not less. Most of these were against the running back, and he was able to take away the checkdown as an option effectively. Again, no complaints, but it’s hard to tell with such a low sample size.

Zone Coverage (8.5/10)

Another section with limited reps. Lloyd is always blitzing, on spies, or put in situations where he has to play zone, but the opposition runs the ball. If Lloyd only had ten snaps in man, that does mean he has played zone a bit more and has shown a pretty solid ability to understand his zone and make a play. He’s also been used on several types of zones, including one where he has been dropped back to almost playing in a bona fide safety position.

Ball Skills (5/5)

Lloyd is sneakily underrated here. He had four interceptions this year, including an uber-athletic one against Stanford. What makes Lloyd’s ball skills great is his length, and it’s proven not just by the interceptions but by his ability to disrupt passing lanes. There have been countless times where Lloyd deflects the ball down at the line of scrimmage or gets his long arms up to alter the vision of the quarterback and make the pass go awry. This was not something you would expect him to be this good at first, but it is one of Lloyd’s strongest traits.

Versatility (4.5/5)

Versatility is about how many positions you can play as much as it is how effective you are in those positions, and Lloyd can mostly provide both. He’s constantly blitzing, lining up in the box, on the edge, or from his traditional MIKE spot and has seen success. You can drop him into zone and man, and he’ll do it all. The only thing we’ll say is he doesn’t see as much success coming off the edge, and NFL tackles may eat him alive, hence the small knock on his grade.

Player Summary

Well, that was quite the ride. Lloyd has his inconsistencies, but due to the fluctuating grades, he has a ton of potential in this league. We keep saying if he plays to his strengths he’ll be able to make it work, and that is the case with Lloyd. It will be really fun to see how NFL teams use Lloyd in their scheme. They should limit him to the classic MLB spot first because it’s where he’s shown his greatest ability to play in coverage and seek out the run. Overall, Lloyd is perfectly rated by the media. He’s not someone that should go in the top 15 or so, although we wouldn’t complain if he went 10-15. Lloyd is a first-rounder and a player who can develop into a top linebacker in the league.

Rookie Projection: Starting MIKE Linebacker

Third-Year Projection: Approaching Breakout Potential

Final Grade (85.5/100): Late First Round

Player Comp: Darius Leonard


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