With the worst-ranked defense in the NFL, there is no question, the Jets have to improve.
Could Utah's linebacker Devin Lloyd be part of the solution?
It depends on what position he best projects at. Lloyd has played most of his college career at inside linebacker at Utah, but he has also spent some time coming off the edge going up against offensive left tackles.
One thing is for sure, Lloyd is shooting up draft boards quickly as he has shown he possesses the raw athletic ability to make a difference.
With Lloyd getting most of his reps at Utah at middle linebacker where Jets’ team MVP C.J. Mosley resides, Lloyd would have to make the switch to outside linebacker in New York’s system. He would fit the weak-side linebacker position in their 4-3 scheme (four defensive lineman, three linebackers).
This position would fit Lloyd and allow him to hunt and make plays.
Lloyd has first-round elite short-area burst and close.
Lloyd may fit best in more of an undefined, less-traditional role, along the lines of what Micah Parsons does in Dallas. Lloyd, like Parsons, lacks power going up against blockers, but he too has an explosive burst to the ball.
#0 MLB Devin Lloyd 6-foot-3, 235 pounds
2021 game film reviewed: BYU, USC, ASU and Stanford
2021 stats: 111 tackles (66 solo), 8 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 4 interceptions
Projects to 3-4 ILB, 4-3 WILL
Grade: First Round (15-32)
Athletic hit and run linebacker with excellent short area burst, but lacks playing strength and has questionable football IQ/instincts. Looks lean. Long arms. Converted high school safety, wide receiver and punter. Against the run he uses his hands well taking on blocks. Despite desire to make the stop, struggles shedding strong engaging blocks, can get lost or guesses the wrong gap. Is best when left clean or can sift through the trash to make the stop. Occasionally shoots gap and to make a blow up stop for a loss. Good solid wrapping tackler. Can run and has good sideline-to-sideline range. Shows want and strong aggression level. It’s not a matter if he wants to make the tackle; it’s a matter of being able to. In pass coverage able to effectively drop into zones and has the athletic ability to run in man, but at times looked lost or late reacting in coverage. When blitzing off the edge lacked speed and moves to win against left tackles, but he was able to use his elite closing ability to get to the pressure from the inside. Looked raw coming off the edge. If he gets blocked blitzing, he is toast. Able to tip passes. Looks like an athlete first and a traditional linebacker second.
If the Jets trade down with one of their two first-round picks into the mid-to-late first round, Lloyd would be an enticing option.
While Lloyd projects best to playing inside (4-3 or 3-4), he has an interesting skill set to project to outside linebacker where he is more of an unknown commodity.
Lloyd, along with Mosley and Quincy Williams could potentially give the Jets a strong group of starting linebackers.
MORE NFL DRAFT:
- Jets Secure Two Top-10 Picks in 2022 NFL Draft
- Jets Select Four Defenders, Top Tight End in New Three-Round Mock Draft
- Jets Pick 'Defensive Cornerstones' in Latest Mock Draft