14 Sep Devin Lloyd, Utah
Redshirt Senior (5Sr) | 6’3″ 235 lbs | Chula Vista, CA
Devin Lloyd is a productive linebacker that succeeds due to his instincts, processing, and block shedding but lacks explosiveness and foot speed.
Devin Lloyd came to Utah as a low-three star recruit. He earned offers from mostly Mountain West programs but committed to Utah, his only power five scholarship. Lloyd redshirted as a true freshman in 2017 and played mostly on special teams in 2018. Since then, he has started every game at linebacker (19 consecutive). In 2020, he led the team in tackles (48) and TFLs (10), earning All-Pac-12 First Team honors.
While he mostly plays in the box, aligning between the tackles, Lloyd also frequently aligns on the ball to rush the passer and can play in the slot/overhang area. The Utah defense is a pretty typical 4-3 defense, subbing in another defensive back on passing downs. They mostly use Cover 2 and Cover 3 shells with lots of rotations to confuse the offense. Up front, Utah typically aligns in Even fronts while using occasional Odd/Bear fronts to scheme up exotic blitzes.
- Good frame and build, appearing very muscular. Has the bulk to hold up in the box.
- Good strength both when taking on blocks and tackling, as he can consistently hold his ground with ease.
- Excellent instincts and mental processing: he always attacks the right gap and understands how to get to ball carriers from anywhere on the field. Able to quickly read misdirection plays and reads the QBs’ eyes well in coverage.
- Very good in pursuit, consistently taking proper angles to meet ball carriers or eliminate cutback lanes. Navigates through traffic easily, dodging blockers to reach ball carrier quickly. Good motor to always finish at or around the ball.
- Very good block shedding using power, finesse, or tenacity. Has developed various ways to disengage, destroy, or dodge blocks to make a play at the ball carrier.
- Solid tackler in the open field and in the hole; reaches the ball carrier at top speed, helping him arrive quickly and with force.
- Good in zone coverage assignments, smoothly dropping anywhere between the numbers; instincts and processing help bring him to the ball and keeps head on a swivel to meet receivers entering his zone. Rarely asked to execute man coverage assignments but can be successful against RBs and TEs.
- Effective pass rusher from the edge and in interior gaps. Very successful with delayed blitzes and stunt.
Areas To Improve:
- Adequate speed: does not have sideline-to-sideline foot speed or ability to cover wide receivers down the field. He is more of a smooth athlete and is not overly explosive or sudden when changing direction.
- Lacks the speed and explosiveness to blanket WRs or RBs in man coverage.
- Lacks developed pass rush moves, despite frequent usage in this role, mostly relying on stunts/twists/loops to get unblocked as a pass rusher.
- Occasionally struggles to finish tackles, allowing ball carriers to break out of his grasp and gain extra yards.
Devin Lloyd should be a very effective inside linebacker in the NFL for a very long time. He is not the best athlete in terms of explosiveness or speed. However, he is very smart and instinctive, which helps him consistently get into the right place at the right time. Lloyd played outside linebacker for the Utes the last two seasons and was still highly effective regardless of his athleticism. He’s moving inside this year and he should be even more successful there.
Lloyd still brings a versatile skill set to the table. He is an excellent run defender, but he’s also a talented zone coverage defender and can even rush the passer in defense with exotic blitz packages. Lloyd should not be asked to stick with receivers in man or cover the entire field. But he will not be a liability on third downs if appropriately used. Devin Lloyd should be an immediate contributor on early downs for any defense and could be an every-down player down the line in the right defense.
Mitchell Wolfe is from Central Pennsylvania but loves all things Pittsburgh. He recently earned a Master’s degree in Sport Business with a concentration in Sports Analytics from Temple University. Mitch is a graduate of The Scouting Academy and has worked for Pro Football Focus as well. He is interested in developing ways to incorporate data-based decision-making into the scouting and drafting process. In his spare time, Mitch likes to play video games, read about history, or spend time with his fiance and their pets.