SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Utes linebacker Devin Lloyd wasn’t at 100 percent, so he decided not to work at Utah’s Pro Day in front of some 29 NFL scouts on Thursday.
“I had some lower extremity tightness,” he said. “I didn’t want to go out and risk anything, so I just made the smart decision and decided not to do anything.”
It won’t hurt Lloyd’s draft stock at all, because Lloyd’s game tape speaks for itself. Lloyd recorded 111 tackles, eight sacks, four interceptions and scored two touchdowns in earning first team All-American honors.
“From what I did in season and what I did at the Combine, I think that was enough to do what I want to do in the draft,” Lloyd said.
What he wants to do is be a first round draft pick. Utah has produced eight first rounders over the years, the last one being Garett Bolles in 2017. A lot experts have Lloyd, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, rated as the top linebacker in the draft, and he could go as high as the top-10. Lloyd is paying too much attention to the projections, but sometimes he can’t avoid it.
“My mom sends them to me all the time,” he said about the projections. “So I have to choice but to hear about it. Ultimately I know that I’m going to end up at the right location. So where I go doesn’t necessarily matter to me. I know I’m going to go to the right place.”
Lloyd could have entered the NFL Draft after the 2020 season, but he wanted to come back to Utah for one more run. And after winning Utah’s first Pac-12 Championship and getting to the Rose Bowl, that turned out to be the right decision.
“I left with my degree, I left with a championship, and I put myself in better position to have more success in the draft this year,” Lloyd said. “So I’m glad I made that decision, and I think it worked out.”
At 6-foot-3, 232 pounds with the ability to get the quarterback and drop back in coverage, it’s clear Lloyd has all the physical tools to make it in the NFL. But it’s his character and his leadership skills that also set him apart.
“I think I can be the face of an organization. I think I can do great things in the community, and really just be the same person I was here wherever I go,” he said. “So I think character counts for sure. I’m always looking to get better. I’m sure there’s things Tom Brady is looking to get better at. I think I played pretty well last year, but it’s the NFL. So you’ve got to step it up even more.”
The NFL Draft begins April 28th on ABC4.