Coming from a military family, Devin's father, Joe Lloyd, served for 26 years. While Lloyd was born in Kansas City, he moved to Chula Vista, California, which is in the southern part of San Diego, right on the Mexican border. Attending local Otay Ranch Highschool, Lloyd stood out as a punter, playing wide receiver and safety. As a senior, his longest punt went for 60 yards. Adding on 52 tackles and eight interceptions, it became clear that Lloyd would be a defensive player at the next level.
Only a three-star safety recruit according to 247Sports, he chose Utah over other west coast schools such as UNLV, Colorado State and San Jose State. Lloyd redshirted as a freshman in 2017 and got his weight up to 230 lbs to play linebacker ahead of the 2018 campaign. That season would be rather quiet as he got to cut his teeth on special teams, only making three appearances on defense. But his role would change as a sophomore, earning the starting nod at rover linebacker and leading the Utes in tackles with 91. This and a pick-six against Oregon State put Lloyd firmly on the map for everyone paying attention to college football.
With the pandemic hitting in 2020, Lloyd was unable to show his improvements sufficiently as Utah only played five games. He is up to a hot start in 2021, making most Preseason All-America teams and winning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Weber State in week one.
A lanky build at around 6030 and an estimated 230 lbs along with a skinny lower half, Lloyd is likely close to maxing out his frame. He is a springy and fluid athlete who can change directions effortlessly in space, showing his safety background. Lloyd displays his versatility, lining up as a middle linebacker, weakside linebacker and even on the line of scrimmage.
In coverage, Lloyd takes full advantage of his athletic abilities as he can carry crossing routes thanks to his quick burst and recovery speed. Furthermore, he is fluid and balanced, meaning he can gain very good depth in zone and take away throwing lanes up the seam. His length means quarterbacks have a tough time layering the ball over his head. Lloyd even has the movement skills to match up with running backs and tight ends in man coverage, giving defensive coordinators even more ways to deploy him. Reading the quarterback's eyes can mean that he misses routes behind him, and he does not turn to find the football in man coverage.
Against the run, he is not decisive coming downhill, displaying below-average recognition skills at times and misreading the mesh point. His field vision can be narrow when he locks on opponents. Lloyd is best in pursuit, using his athleticism and showing great range to flow to the ball and chase down ball carriers. He can win engagements with blockers quickly when he manages to swipe the hands and beat the punch of blockers. Very good lateral agility helps him stay clean as blockers whiff on him in space. His hand usage and explosiveness even allow him to impact as a pass rusher, using it to beat pass blocking tackles. Lloyd does not explode out of his hips and misses on bigger ball carriers because of it. He is a reliable tackler in space as he will not get juked out easily due to his twitch.
Lloyd is a leader and communicator on defense, getting his teammates lined up and handling post-snap communication if required.
Displaying his ability in pursuit, Lloyd chases down the ball carrier and brings him down in the backfield.
His deep drop takes away the curl route at the sticks by the slot receiver.
Quick hands allow him to beat the center in space.
With his eyes on the quarterback, Lloyd fails to locate the in-breaking route behind him.
Scouting Lenz Projection: Lloyd projects as a starting weakside linebacker early on in his career as his coverage ability, length and athleticism are what NFL teams desire at the position. Whether he can develop into a quality starter is dependent on him improving as a run defender. Defensive coordinators can move Lloyd around and allow his defense to disguise looks if required.
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