3 elite traits LB Devin Lloyd brings to the Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars proved to be one of Day 1’s most aggressive teams, moving back into the first round and selecting Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd.
Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke decided to go with Georgia’s Travon Walker as the first overall pick but upped the ante by adding a second defensive player that same night. With the 27th selection, Baalke gave his linebacker group a major addition in the form of Lloyd, the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Was it worth it? Well, we won’t know any surefire grades for at least another year, but Lloyd brings several traits and intangibles that warranted a trade-up. Mike Caldwell’s defense got itself a potential game-changing defensive talent, so let’s take a look at some of those traits.
1. The Jaguars now have a LB with remarkable sideline-to-sideline speed
Caldwell’s defense will make use of Lloyd’s speed in its scheme, and he’ll have to rely on it to help shut down the run. At the NFL Combine, Lloyd recorded a 4.66 time in his 40-yard dash, showcasing his speed. In college, Lloyd was an active tackler, roaming the field and recording 66 solo tackles, which was tops in the Pac-12. The previous season, Lloyd amassed 33, ending up fourth in the conference.
More importantly, Lloyd proved to be a disruptive force that had to be accounted for in every play. He accumulated 43 tackles for a loss from 2018 to 2021. He’s 14th in the Pac-12 since 2005 with that total of 43 if you’re keeping tabs. Simply put, Lloyd was always making a play no matter where on the field.
His sideline-to-sideline speed combined with his length (33-inch arms, a wingspan of 81-plus inches) makes him deadly in space. In college, Lloyd consistently shut down running lanes, and you often saw him convert these stops into tackles for a loss. More than just speed, Lloyd’s on-field awareness and notable football IQ in dissecting an offense are what make him special.