Lloyd Has Been Called 'Perfect Pick' for Ravens
The Ravens enter the draft looking for help at both edge rusher and cornerback. But if Lloyd is available with the 14th pick, many believe that the inside linebacker from Utah is too good to pass up. In the opinion of NFL.com's Adam Rank, Lloyd already plays like a Raven.
"There is no player in this draft I look at more and think, 'This guy should be a Raven,' than my guy Devin Lloyd," Rank wrote. "He's the kind of player who can get to the passer and also excels in coverage. I'm telling you, there's no such thing as the perfect pick. But this might be the perfect pick."
Lloyd's statistics back up his value as a three-down linebacker. He had 111 tackles in 15 games last season, including 22 tackles for loss. He's an instinctive player defending the run who reads plays quickly, often exploding past would-be blockers and making a beeline toward the ballcarrier.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Lloyd was also an excellent blitzer with a career-high eight sacks last season and 6.5 sacks in 2019. Baltimore wants to improve its pass rush, and Lloyd has the potential to do that as blitzing linebacker in new Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald's scheme. Meanwhile, Lloyd also makes plays when he drops into pass coverage. He had four interceptions last season and has solid hands from his experience as a high school wide receiver.
Drafting Lloyd would allow Patrick Queen to continue flourishing at WILL linebacker, where he played well last season, and the Ravens re-signed Josh Bynes, a savvy veteran inside linebacker who can mentor Lloyd. This could be a defensive-heavy draft for the Ravens, and picking Lloyd might be a good place to start.
His Style of Play Fits Today's NFL
Lloyd's skillset fits the NFL's trend toward multi-positional players. His versatility as a pass rusher and run defender allows him to handle different responsibilities, depending upon the situation. Matt Bowen of ESPN.com looked at 10 players from this draft class who “fit modern schemes,” and chose Lloyd as an example.
"Lloyd is a three-down defender who can be utilized as an inside/outside linebacker with edge-rushing ability in today's schemed fronts," Bowen wrote. "And he can also be schemed as a blitzer from the second level.
"Picture the Utah product as a stacked linebacker who can cut off and pursue the ball, with the downhill power to rattle opposing ball carriers. Or scheme him as an edge defender who can drop in coverage and rush the passer."
Lloyd Would Continue the Ravens' Utah Pipeline
Players from Utah have been good to the Ravens. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley is a Utah product, as is new safety Marcus Williams, who signed with Baltimore during free agency. Former Raven standouts Eric Weddle and Steve Smith Sr. also played college football at Utah. They fit the mold of what the Ravens look for – tough, smart, consistent, durable.
Lloyd was the unquestioned defensive leader for a team that won the Pac-12 championship. Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham knows what an NFL player looks like and says Lloyd has the potential to be a star.
"Devin is a special football player. He's the best defender that's ever come through the University of Utah, at least in the modern era," Whittingham said via the DeseretNews. "His impact and value cannot be overstated. He is such a great leader. I see exactly what the NFL looks for in linebackers."
Lloyd Admires Ray Lewis
Here's another reason why Lloyd fits for the Ravens – he's a huge Ray Lewis fan. Lloyd wasn't a kid who watched football night and day growing up, but once he became a linebacker, watching film of Lewis caught his attention.
"Ray Lewis is one of my favorite players of all time," Lloyd said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I definitely studied his game a lot. He's an inspiration to my game."
His Parents Both Served in the Navy
Lloyd believes his parents' military background shaped his disciplined personality. His mother and father served in the Navy, where they met.
"Growing up in a military household, everything is pretty much routine and scripted," Lloyd told FoxNews.com. "Everything from waking up and making your bed – how you make your bed – just a really regimented schedule … learning about working together and just really doing things the right way, doing things with the right intentions."