NAME: Devin Lloyd
WEIGHT: 235 lbs
CLASS: Redshirt Senior
HOMETOWN: Chula Vista, California
HIGH SCHOOL: Otay Ranch
Devin Lloyd was a three star recruit out of Otay Ranch HS. In his time there he played safety. He received offers from UNLV, Colorado State, Sacramento State, and San Jose State, among others. He would ultimately accept an offer he received from Utah. Once he got to Utah, he added some weight and transitioned to the linebacker position. He has been one of the more consistent parts of their defense over the past few years and a team captain for the last two seasons. Every year he has steadily shown more and more improvement in his game.
Range – 65: Lloyd is a very quick and athletic linebacker, gifted with a great deal of speed. He can close very quickly on both running lanes and on receivers. He is a guy who is going to test very well and put up some good numbers at the combine. You can definitely see his history as a safety in his game.
IQ – 55: Lloyd seems to have a high football IQ. He always seems to find a way to get to the ball whether he is making the tackle or he is in a pile helping bring someone down. He is a very instinctive linebacker. Lloyd understands how to put himself in a good position to make plays and fill gaps to affect run plays.
Run Defense – 65: Run defense is a strength for Lloyd. He is great at putting himself in the right place to be at the right time. Lloyd is phenomenal at covering runs to the outside. He is patient enough to wait for the right hole to open up and then he shoots through to wrap up the ball carrier. When it comes to run plays in the trenches, he does a good job of stacking and shedding to make tackles. He is sneaky because it looks like he isn’t going to be able to impact a play, but he is able to dip under the blocker and make a play. There are times when he gets taken out of a play or needs help on a tackle, which could be due to his size.
Tackling – 55: This area needs some work for Lloyd to be successful in the pros. He doesn’t square up a lot when tackling. A lot of the tackles that I have seen have been tackles from behind or tackles where he is able to get ahold of their legs and slow them down/ trip them up. He is not a heavy hitter type of backer. Lloyd is also a finisher. He gives a lot of assisted tackles. When there is someone struggling to bring a player down, he can be useful to help finish them off. There are issues that I have with him taking players on in a 1v1 scenario. He seems to struggle bringing down stronger targets like tight ends and running backs by himself.
Pass Coverage – 65: This is a tricky area to grade. Lloyd looks comfortable in pass coverage but there isn’t a lot of production to show for it up until this year. It seems as if in 2021 it started to click because he has had four interceptions this season and has really made his presence known in the pass game. There seems to be some ball hawk in him from his time as a safety. He does a good job of finding the fine balance of reading the quarterback’s eyes and also being aware of who is in his zone. Man coverage he isn’t asked to do too much, the majority of his time in pass coverage is in zone.
Motor – 65: There isn’t much to say here. Lloyd has a really great motor, he doesn’t give up on plays because he knows he has the range within him to make up ground. If he knows that a play is well out of his reach, he holds up and saves his energy for the next play.
Block Shedding – 60: Lloyd really impressed me here with this category. He isn’t the most cut guy on the field and he’s not the strongest. However, he is one of the most athletic and he uses that to his advantage. He is flexible and athletic enough and he uses that to his advantage to get away from offensive linemen. Lloyd does a great job of making sure that linemen don’t latch onto him. He seems to always be able to disengage whenever he needs to. All too often he makes plays on the ball by dipping around and under the offensive lineman to trip up the ball carrier’s feet. It’s not 100% effective but it gets the job done most of the time.
Pass Rush/Blitz – 65: When it comes to blitzing, Lloyd does better when coming off of the edge. He has the quickness, bendiness, and agility to really make an impact. He seems to have perfected the art of coming off of the edge and getting sacks and making tackles for loss. In 2021 he has had eight sacks and 22 tackles for loss. When it comes to gap blitzing he’s not as strong. He struggles to make a dent against offensive lineman and is more easily shut down. Occasionally he breaks through but his bread and butter is the edge.
Versatility – 60: I like Lloyd’s versatility and what he brings to the table. His combined history of being a safety and a linebacker means he can do whatever you need him to do. Whether it’s dropping back into coverage, blitzing, playing QB spy…you name it he can do it. I don’t believe playing as a MIKE fits him in the NFL. I could see him better fitting in as a SAM linebacker in a 4-3 front or as an EDGE rusher in a 3-4 front with his ability to rush the passer and drop back into coverage.
Frame – 50: I believe it would do some good for Lloyd to fill out some and add a little more weight. There are times where he struggles with tackling someone by himself. With his frame, I don’t feel like it would hurt for him to put on a few more pounds.
Final Grade: 6.89
Round Grade: 3rd
Summary: Overall, I feel that Lloyd definitely has the potential to have quite the presence in the NFL. He honestly reminds me of Shaq Thompson when he came out of college. Lloyd, like Thompson, has a history of being a linebacker/safety hybrid. Thompson started out his career as an outside linebacker until he had a few years under his belt, then he moved to the middle. I can see the same thing happening to Lloyd until he gets his feet wet in the NFL. Lloyd has shown progression in his play every single year, with this year being his best one yet. As of now I have Lloyd as a third rounder because of his frame and the issues that I have seen in his tackling that could present him with some troubles in the NFL. He presents great value to an NFL team based on what he can do in pass coverage and what he can do in the pass rush. I could see Lloyd maybe going in the second round but a third round grade feels safe to me.
Follow Austin @ArmchairAustin.