Linebacker Devin Lloyd got off to a strong start in his rookie campaign, registering six passes defensed and two interceptions in the first three games of the 2022 season. However, he couldn't keep playing at that level and the Jacksonville Jaguars eventually benched him in favor of Chad Muma. But last year is now behind and Lloyd has shown progress in training camp. Head coach Doug Pederson has noticed and recently talked about the linebacker's development.
"Things have slowed down, second year", Pederson told the local media on Day 7 of Jaguars training camp. "He played last year, we sat him on the bench a couple of weeks, then he went back out there. The positive reinforcement of watching yourself this offseason, go back and watch last year and just see like, 'I did that?' Yeah, you did that. And it just resonates with the players, right?"
"When you can show him you correct him. This is what you should have done. This is what you did type of thing. And the game slows down and that's where he is right now. And you're seeing that out there. I really like where he's at mentally," Pederson said.
Pederson continued. "In college, he was more of an on-the-ball outside type backer rusher all that kind of stuff. And he's been off the ball and stack backer and whatnot to a new position, a little bit for him. He's done a nice job last year.
Pederson went on to say that missing a portion of training camp with a hamstring injury affected Lloyd's performance last year but noted that he's fully healthy now. By his own admission, Lloyd says there's a night difference between last year and 2023.
After taking Travon Walker with the first overall pick in last year's draft, the Jaguars traded their second-round pick, along with the 106th and 180th selections, to move back into the first round to choose Lloyd at No. 27.
It's time for Jaguars LB Devin Lloyd to take the next step in 2023
Devin Lloyd already showed that he can play at a high level. He now needs to do it consistently. Being healthy and spending the offseason refining his craft has certainly helped him make a strong impression in training camp.
Just recently, Mike Caldwell praised Lloyd for his improved play recognition. Similarly, John Shipley of Sports Illustrated and Juston Lewis of The Florida Times-Union have pointed out that the former Utah Ute is having a productive camp. Shipley has also noted that Lloyd seems to be on track to start next to Foyesade Oluokun in the opener.
As Pederson noted, most players usually make a leap in Year 2 and Lloyd hasn't disappointed. Heading into the 2023 season, it looks like the Jaguars expect big things from him. Based on the progress he's made, he's up to the challenge.