With Tryon's Budding Reputation, NFL Draft Won't Ignore Huskies in 2021

The Washington edge rusher ranks among the nation's foremost players at that position. See where this early list has him.
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Joe Tryon turns 21 today, likely celebrating in private, letting others know he's a year older only through Twitter. 

As they say, he's legal. 

A year from now, the University of Washington edge rusher could wind up recognizing not only his birthday but draft day, as well.

At a time when his older Husky teammates one after another were shunned in the NFL's annual talent dispersal, Tryon has quietly emerged as his team's top defensive pro prospect for 2021.

The 6-foot-5, 262-pound junior from Renton, Washington, recently was singled out by USA Today as one of the nation's top five edge rushers on its list of 10 elite players for next season.

Tryon, who led the Huskies with 12.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks in 2019 and was selected second-team All-Pac-12, finds himself in highly impressive company on the the USA Today list found here

Tops in the country is Miami's 6-7, 253-pound Gregory Rousseau, who as a redshirt freshman last season came up with 15.5 sacks, the second-most in Hurricanes history, among his 19.5 tackles for loss.

Second on the list is Wake Forest's Carlos Basham Jr., a 6-5, 275-pound senior who comes off an 18-TFL, 11-sack performance.

Clemson's Xavier Thomas, a 6-2, 265-pound junior is ranked next, after a modest 8-TFL, 2-sack showing. As part of that talent-laden program, he apparently has to share in a big way in the defensive bounty.

Fourth is Oregon State's Hamilcar Rashed Jr., a 6-4, 238-pound senior who led the nation with 22.5 tackles for loss and was third with 14 sacks.

And then there's Tryon, who brings an absolute warrior mentality to the Husky defense, as shown in the accompanying video, which was taken at Oregon State. In a 19-7 victory, the UW player came up with 4.5 tackles for loss; Rashed had 1. 

The top three guys on the edge-rusher list each hail from the Atlantic Coast Conference, while Rashed and Tryon represent the Pac-12. 

No SEC?

USA Today surprisingly doesn't single out a rusher from the nation's top talent stronghold (as determined over and over by the NFL draft) until choosing Auburn's Markaviest "Big Kat" Bryant at No. 7.

Michigan, which opens the season at Washington on Sept. 5 unless the pandemic scuttles the intersectional game, has two players on the list: Aidan Hutchinson ranks sixth and teammate Kwity Paye is No. 10.

Rounding out the top 10 is a second Miami rusher in Quincy Roche, who transferred in from Temple and ranks eighth, and Penn State's Shaka Toney, who is No. 9.

USA Today broke down the best players at each defensive position area and it didn't include the Huskies' senior defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike or senior cornerback Elijah Molden, both first-team All-Pac-12 honorees.

Considering the company he's keeping, Tryon probably couldn't ask for a better birthday present than this.