After a somewhat underwhelming finish to his rookie season, Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd has gotten plenty of praise from the coaching staff ahead of the 2023 season. However, Chris Trapasso of NFL Media believes that Chad Muma, and not Lloyd, is set to make a huge leap.
Trapasso of CBS Sports included Muma on his list of second-year players ready to break out over Lloyd because he believes he's the better tackler of the two and fares much better in coverage. Here's some of what Trapasso had to say about the former Wyoming Cowboy.
"Muma's a superb tackler, which unsurprisingly, showed in college at Wyoming. In his rookie season, Muma only missed four tackles and nothing will get you on the field faster in the NFL than being a reliable tackler. It didn't show in 2022, yet in college, Muma was a magnet to the football in coverage. The element of his game will improve -- it usually clicks in the second season for linebacker -- and be integral to his breakout. "
Lloyd, the 27th overall pick in last year's draft, started next to Foyesade Oluokun in the opener despite the fact that he had missed time in training camp with a hamstring injury. Lloyd got off to a strong start but he eventually struggled and was phased out in favor of Muma, who went on to make two starts before hurting his ankle.
With Muma getting hurt, Lloyd returned to the starting lineup but he wasn't nearly as effective as he was early in the season, when he registered two interceptions and six passes defensed in the first three games.
Chad Muma and Devin Lloyd could take center stage in Jaguars training camp
Muma and Lloyd could compete for the same starting job in 2023 but there's also a chance the Jaguars will run more 4-3 looks on defense. If that's the case, both linebackers could take the field at the same time. Either way, Muma and Lloyd have a solid case to get a featured role next season.
Although the Jaguars' brass moved back into the first round to take Devin Lloyd after drafting Travon Walker first overall last year, they couldn't pass on Muma when he was still on the board in Round 3. Lloyd might have the slight edge by virtue of being a former first-round pick but Muma also displayed potential in the second half of the 2022 season.
The truth is that we won't have a clear picture of who's going to get more playing time until the season is near. For the time being, Lloyd and Muma will continue to work on their respective craft. Trapasso thinks Muma is the one who will break out in 2023 and he might be right. However, nobody will bat an eye if Lloyd is the one that has the banner year.