2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Devin Lloyd
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: The Utah Utes defense has produced a lot of tough defenders for the NFL in recent years, and Lloyd will continue that tradition in the 2022 NFL Draft. He was excellent in 2021, leadering the Utah defense that carried the team to the Pac-12 Championship and a Rose Bowl appearance. On the year, Lloyd totaled 111 tackles, eight sacks, one forced fumble, four interceptions and six passes broken up. In the shortened 2020 season, he notched 48 tackles after recording 91 tackles, 6.5 sacks, one interception and two passes defended in 2019.
Lloyd does everything well for the next leve, and there isn't a serious weakness to his game. Against the run, he defends sideline-to-sideline thanks to his quickness to track down ball-carriers. Lloyd shows good instincts and is adept at reading his keys to explode through the scrum to take down backs. Lloyd is big enough to defend against downhill runs coming straight at him. In terms of getting off blocks, Lloyd has that potential because he is a physical defender and does not shy away from taking on blockers.
Lloyd is very well suited to pass coverage in today's NFL. While he has some stiffness that can be seen when he drops into coverage, he compensates with instincts and speed. As a professional, he could contribute against tight ends in man-to-man coverage. Lloyd has good height and length to match up on tight ends and the speed to get down the seam. He was very good in coverage for Utah last season. For running backs out of the backfield, Lloyd is also able to cover them. In zone coverage, Lloyd is skilled to pick up receivers coming into his area and keeping them from getting open. He also flashed as a blitzer when given the opportunity to rush the passer.
Lloyd has the potential to be a true three-down starter in the NFL. Being a run chase Will - weakside - linebacker in a 3-4 defense would be a great fit for him. In a 4-3 defense, he could be a Mike - middle - linebacker or he could be a Will or Sam - strongside.
In the 2022 NFL Draft, Lloyd has a shot to be a late first-round pick. If he doesn't, he should not slide past Round 2.
Player Comparison: Zach Cunningham. Some team sources have compared Lloyd to Cunningham, which makes a lot of sense. Cunningham and Lloyd are both 6-foot-3 and nearly identical in size. They are also both instinctive run defenders with the ability to cover. Cunningham was a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Lloyd could in the second round this year. I could see Lloyd being a similar pro defender to Cunningham.
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