LAS VEGAS (ABC4 Sports) – Devin Lloyd became the ninth University of Utah football player ever drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, when he was taken with the 27th overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars traded up with Tampa Bay to select Lloyd. He is the highest drafted linebacker in Utah history.
“Man, I’m pumped,” Lloyd said. “As soon as I saw the call, everything was just relief, excitement, joy, just every emotion. I’m just ready. I’m excited.”
Lloyd is coming off a spectacular senior season, when he won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and was named a 1st team All-American.
Lloyd had 111 tackles, eight sacks, four interceptions and two pick-6’s in 2021, as the Utes won their first ever Pac-12 Championship.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham has called Lloyd one of the greatest defensive players he has ever coached.
“It’s a blessing,” Lloyd said. “I think there’s a lot of guys who would love to be in my shoes. I definitely don’t take all my opportunities and everything I’ve accomplished for granted. I just try to be the best version of myself everyday.”
Lloyd could have entered the NFL Draft after a Covid-shortened 2020 season, but wanted to bring Utah its first ever Pac-12 title and get to the Rose Bowl.
Lloyd was also instrumental in helping the team deal with the two tragic deaths of Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe.
Lloyd is the first Utah player to be selected in the first round since Garett Bolles was taken by Denver in 2017.
As he walked out on stage, Lloyd hugged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and hoisted him up into the air.
“My mom actually told me right before, she said, ‘so, you going to pick up the commissioner, right? I was like, OK, so I picked up the commissioner. It wasn’t planned or premeditated or anything. It just kind of happened on the fly. Just a whole lot of emotions. I was really excited, so I just went out there and did it.”