(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2022 NFL Draft isn't until late-April, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd.)
- Name: Devin Lloyd
- Position: LB
- College: Utah
- Height/Weight: 6-2 /237
- Did You Know? Lloyd was a consensus All-American in 2022 and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year after recording eight sacks, 22 tackles for loss and four interceptions.
Where He's Projected:
Projecting linebackers is never easy. While some players might be the perfect for this scheme, they could be off the board for another. So Lloyd could be a Top 10 player for some, and maybe even in the second round for some. But whoever gets Lloyd will get a ready-made NFL player who can legitimately do the three things that make great linebackers – react, run and hit. Not only did Lloyd live in the opponent's backfield with 22 tackles for loss, he had four interceptions last year and two returned for touchdowns.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
The Cowboys have question marks all over the linebacker spot right now. Can Leighton Vander Esch not only stay healthy, but return to the form we saw early in his career? Can Jabril Cox contribute this year after his torn ACL injury in mid-season? And how much linebacker will Micah Parsons even play? And that's really the top three linebackers right there so depth is in issue and a guy like Lloyd would immediately step in and solidify this spot. He's a big hitter with range that covers a lot of ground. The more depth the Cowboys have at linebacker, the more versatile Parsons can be. And Lloyd brings instant depth and playmaking ability.
Kyle Youmans' Report: One of the more versatile linebackers in the draft with the ability to do a little of everything. Utilized as an outside linebacker at Utah, he rushed from the inside and outside on passing downs and could also be used as an every down player at the next level. Great instincts to the football and will plug holes before they even open. Tallied 43 tackles for loss over his last three seasons with the Utes.