Devin Lloyd is expected to make some history.

He is projected to become the first former Utah Utes linebacker to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, joining eight other former Utes as first-round picks.

Where will the defensive playmaker land?

Is Devin Lloyd best defender in modern era of Utah football? His coach sure thinks so

In the most recent NFL mock drafts, Lloyd, rated by many as the top inside linebacker in the 2022 NFL draft class, is projected as a mid first-round pick who could slide into the top 10 or have to wait until late in the first round to hear his name called.

Whoever takes Lloyd is getting a player expected to provide the kind of disruptive, fly-around-the-field ability he demonstrated at Utah. 

Lloyd was a consensus All-American last season and started 32 games for Utah over the past three seasons. During his Utes career, Lloyd had 255 tackles, 43 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, five interceptions (three for touchdowns), nine pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

How Utah ties performed at the NFL combine
Which former Utes helped their draft stock at pro day?

With the first round kicking off the NFL draft a month from now, where are national experts predicting Lloyd will be drafted?

Here’s a look at 15 mock drafts published in the past week from a multitude of national publications, in order of Lloyd’s earliest projection to the latest:

Pro Football Network, Cam Mellor

Lloyd’s selection: No. 9, Seattle Seahawks

Mellor’s analysis: “The Seattle Seahawks know a thing or two about stellar linebacker play. With Bobby Wagner now gone, Jordyn Brooks gets a new linebacker duo with similar skills. Devin Lloyd is the best sideline-to-sideline linebacker in this class and could play the most snaps in his rookie season among every player drafted.”

CBS Sports, Pete Prisco

Lloyd’s selection: No. 13, Houston Texans

Prisco’s analysis: “Landing a run-and-chase linebacker who can also rush the passer would be a good move for this young team. Texans need players at a lot of spots, so take one of the best in this draft.”

USA Today, Nate Davis

Lloyd’s selection: No. 13, Houston Texans

Davis’ analysis: “Lloyd provides an all-around skill set that allows him to be a multi-faceted weapon, something a 31st-ranked defense hasn’t enjoyed in some time. He had 22 TFLs in 2021 and might be capable of a Micah Parsons-lite impact in the pros.”

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson

Lloyd’s selection: No. 15, Philadelphia Eagles

Wilson’s analysis: “Lloyd is a special talent. We were impressed by him during the ’21 season and nothing changed at the combine. He’s the prototypical off-ball linebacker in today’s NFL (pay no attention to his 4.7-something 40 times — he plays immeasurably faster), and it’s like he was built in a lab. This may seem high but, well, it’s not.”, Daniel Jeremiah

Lloyd’s selection: No. 16, Philadelphia Eagles

Jeremiah’s analysis: “I know the Eagles typically avoid taking linebackers in the first round, but Lloyd would be too good to pass up at this point in the draft.”

ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr.

Lloyd’s selection: No. 19, Philadelphia Eagles

Kiper’s analysis: “Lloyd was one of the best all-around defenders in college football last season, racking up 111 total tackles, eight sacks, 20 tackles for loss, four interceptions and a forced fumble. He has some juice as a blitzer and can cover tight ends and running backs in the passing game.”

Pro Football Focus, Austin Gayle

Lloyd’s selection: No. 19, Philadelphia Eagles

Gayle’s analysis: “Lloyd was a heat-seeking missile and an every-down impact player for the Utes. He earned a 91.1 PFF grade as one of college football’s top defenders in 2021. He steps in as an immediate difference-maker for an Eagles defense without any high-end talent at off-ball linebacker.”

Draft Wire, Luke Easterling

Lloyd’s selection: No. 19, Philadelphia Eagles

Easterling’s analysis: “Philly’s patience pays off here, as they wait to fill one of their biggest needs, and still land this year’s best prospect at the position. Lloyd is a three-down playmaker with and impressive size/length/athleticism combo, who brings the versatility to make big things happen against the run and pass, as well as a rusher.”, Chad Reuter

Lloyd’s selection: No. 20, Minnesota Vikings (in projected trade)

Reuter’s analysis: “Lloyd reminds me of a more slight version of Anthony Barr, a longtime Vikings star who is currently a free agent. Lloyd can play outside or inside and became quite adept at rushing the passer when given the chance last fall.”

Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic

Lloyd’s selection: No. 21, New England Patriots

Baumgardner’s analysis: “The Patriots could also use help up the middle defensively, and in a very good linebacker class, it doesn’t get better than Lloyd. He could be too tough to pass on.”, Maurice Jones-Drew

Lloyd’s selection: No. 21, New England Patriots

Jones-Drew’s analysis: “Lloyd is a high-IQ leader in the middle of the defense, filling a hole left by the presumed departures of Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins in free agency. He steps right in to play alongside — and learn from — veteran Matthew Judon.”

Sports Illustrated, Zack Patraw

Lloyd’s selection: No. 21, New England Patriots

Patraw’s analysis: “Showing good leverage when taking on blocks, he possesses the length to lock out and even outreach blockers. He uses his quick lateral agility to avoid blockers in space.”

The Draft Network, Brentley Weissman

Lloyd’s selection: No. 26, Tennessee Titans

Weissman’s analysis: “Lloyd is a long and instinctive linebacker who offers three-down ability as an effective player against the run and pass. I know Titans fans love them some Zach Cunningham but Lloyd is a significantly better player.”

The Ringer, Danny Kelly

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Lloyd’s selection: No. 28, Green Bay Packers

Kelly’s analysis: “Lloyd pairs up with the recently re-signed De’Vondre Campbell to give Green Bay a pair of rangy playmakers in the middle of the defense.”

CBS Sports, Tom Fornelli

Lloyd’s selection: Not selected in first round

Of note: Fornelli has the Philadelphia Eagles taking Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean, seen as the other top linebacker along with Lloyd in this year’s class, at No. 19.

When is the 2022 NFL draft?

  • April 28-30.
  • Las Vegas.
  • On TV: ESPN, ABC, NFL Network.
  • Start times: April 28 (Round 1), 6 p.m. MDT; April 29 (Rounds 2-3), 5 p.m; April 30 (Round 4-7), 10 a.m.
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