• IDP Rookie Spotlight: Devin Lloyd

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    Devin Lloyd should be the first rookie linebacker selected.  Let's look at his draft profile, team fit, and draft value to see why.


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    Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

    Pick: 27th overall

    Height: 6'3" Weight: 235lb
    40-yard Dash: 4.66 Length: 33"

    Wingspan: 80 1/4"

    Player Comparisons: Fred Warner (PFF.com), Willie Gay (NFL.com), Shaq Thompson (Bleacher Report), and Zach Cunningham (Walter Football).

    Lloyd is known for his sideline-to-sideline speed, which is very important for the three-down linebacker in today's game. In addition, modern linebackers need to be able to defend the run and the pass consistently. In 2021, Lloyd graded out very favorably according to PFF — overall: 90.3, pass rush: 88.4, run defense: 82.0, coverage: 82.9.

    While in high school, Lloyd played safety and receiver and registered three defensive touchdowns and six receiving touchdowns in his senior season. Even though he only converted to linebacker in college, he already has the instincts to play the position at a high level.

    Lloyd’s solid athletic foundation is an important part of his NFL Draft scouting report. Moreover, his execution and football IQ make him unique from other linebackers. Lloyd’s not only physically capable, but he’s also a smart, instinctive player whose game IQ regularly proves to be a tier above most prospects. -Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network

    In 2021, Lloyd led the Pac-12 with 66 solo tackles. In addition, he racked up seven sacks and four interceptions. Here is one highlight that shows off Lloyd's athleticism while at Utah:

    Jacksonville Defense

    The Jaguars are expected to utilize a 3-4 base defense, with Foyesade Oluokun and Lloyd as the inside linebackers. Oluokun spent his four seasons will the Falcons, but he signed a three-year contract with the Jaguars during free agency in March.

    In 2021, the Jaguars finished dead last in takeaways, so they needed to find playmakers like Lloyd to help increase the number of turnovers. Jacksonville also expects their linebackers to be able to blitz and cover at a high level, and Lloyd has the capability to excel in both areas.

    The Jaguars' current over/under win total for the season is 6.5, so I anticipate the defense will still be on the field quite often in 2022. Additional snaps mean increased fantasy production for Lloyd.

    Value

    Dynasty

    IDP Guys Dynasty ADP: LB19     IDG Guys Dynasty Rank: LB14

    Devin Lloyd is at the top of the list if you are in a dynasty startup and want to draft a promising rookie linebacker. He is worth drafting in the second half of the first round in rookie drafts.

    Re-Draft Value

    Sleeper ADP: LB24     IDG Guys Re-Draft Rank: LB24

    Frequently, rookies are drafted too early in re-draft leagues, but I don't think that is the case with Lloyd.  I think LB24 is right around the right spot to pick him up in your drafts. During the start of training camp, Lloyd has been slowed with a hamstring injury, so he has only had limited practices. Although, all indications are that Lloyd will be the starter as soon as he is fully healthy.

    Comparison to Other Rookie Linebackers

    Quay Walker, Green Bay Packers

    Walker was drafted five picks earlier than Lloyd, but there are concerns about his playing in Green Bay.  The Packers don't use two every-down linebackers, so unless the team drastically changes their defense, Walker will have his snaps limited while playing next to De'Vondre Campbell.

    Last season, the second linebacker in this defense rarely exceeded 70% playing time. In addition, Campbell just recently signed a new five-year, $50 million contract, so he will be around for the foreseeable future.

    Walker ran an impressive 4.52-second 40-yard dash at the combine, but his PFF grades aren't that impressive, and he was arguable the second-best linebacker on the field at Georgia.

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    Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles

    Several analysts projected Dean to be the first linebacker off the draft board, but he fell until pick 19 of the third round. He received the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in 2021 but wasn't drafted in the first round due to some injury concerns (pectoral muscle). The injury prevented him from posting 40 times at Georgia's Pro Day.

    Dean will be competing with Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards for playing time. So, unless Dean can quickly take over play-calling duties, he will be eased into playing time. He is only 5'11," so there is also some concern about his ability to match up against NFL tight ends.


    Thank you for reading!  Follow me on Twitter at @MasterIDP. For my previous work, check out my Author Page. Please subscribe to IDPGuys.org for all your fantasy football needs and check out our customizable IDP scoring tool.

    Leo (@MasterIDP)

    Leo joined IDP Guys as a writer and ranker on June 30, 2022. He is passionate about IDP and helping you win your fantasy leagues. Leo has been competing in IDP since 2013 in the Brooklyn Fantasy Football League (Ohio league established in 1991)

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