Thursday was a night of celebration around the Utah football program, after linebacker Devin Lloyd became the No. 27 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft when the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up to get him.

Lloyd joins a Jacksonville franchise that is coming off a 3-14 season and is looking to rebuild a defense that ranked in the bottom half of the NFL last season, giving up 353.1 yards and 26.9 points per game.

The Jaguars are receiving a dynamic playmaker — Lloyd was a two-time Butkus Award finalist, the Pac-12’s Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year and consensus All-America selection at Utah.

Why Utah’s Devin Lloyd, at pick No. 27, landed in ‘a very good spot’ and can have an immediate impact with Jacksonville Jaguars
2022 NFL draft tracker: How to watch, what to watch for and everything you need to know about the draft

Will the price the Jaguars paid to get Lloyd pay off?

Jacksonville sent a second-round pick (No. 35), a fourth-round pick (No. 106) and a sixth-round pick (No. 180) to Tampa Bay in exchange for the No. 27 pick, which it used to acquire Lloyd.

Lloyd’s selection by the Jaguars, though, was largely seen as a good move by media experts who cover the league.

How did national experts grade the Devin Lloyd pick?

Here’s a look at how seven different national experts graded the Lloyd pick.

Sports Illustrated, Kevin Hanson

Grade: A

  • Hanson’s analysis: “The Jaguars added Foye Oluokun in free agency to replace Miles Jack and they get an upgrade to pair with Oluokun. Lloyd is a do-it-all, three-down linebacker who can impact the game in a variety of ways. He stuffed the stat sheet last season with 110 tackles, 22 TFLs, eight sacks and four interceptions (including two returned for scores). The rangy former high school safety has the size and length to match up with tight ends and outstanding ball skills. A top-15 prospect in my rankings, the Jags get a nice value here.”

CBS Sports, Pete Prisco

Grade: B+

  • Prisco’s analysis: “They made a bold move to go get him. I love this. He’s a playmaking linebacker who can do a lot of things. Think Devin White in the Tampa Bay scheme. It works. (Jaguars defensive coordinator) Mike Caldwell will use him a lot of different ways.”, Chad Reuter

Grade: B+ (based on both of the Jaguars’ two first-round selections)

  • Reuter’s analysis: “The Jaguars traded two Day 3 selections to move back into the first round for Tampa Bay’s No. 27 pick, selecting Lloyd. That’s a good deal for a team looking for a difference-maker at the second level. Lloyd’s lack of supreme athleticism cost him draft position, but he displayed blossoming pass-rush ability when given the chance at Utah, as well as the willingness to plug gaps against the run and cover tight ends.”

Bleacher Report, Brent Sobleski

Grade: B

  • Sobleski’s analysis: “The Jacksonville Jaguars clearly value versatility in how they’re building their defense. Lloyd joins this year’s No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker to give the Jaguars’ defensive front a facelift.
  • “Like Walker, Lloyd’s best quality is the fact that he’s a positionless player. The second-line defender is interchangeable at any of the linebacker positions. He’s also capable of playing off the edge.”

Yahoo Sports, Eric Edholm

Grade: B-

  • Edholm’s analysis: “We thought Lloyd would come off the board in the 25-35 range, and he lands with the Jaguars, who traded up to get to this spot. Lloyd is a three-down playmaker and box-score stuffer with good size and athleticism who can be a bit clunky and a tick slow to react at times. This is another building block for a Jaguars defense that needs new blood.”

The Athletic, Sheil Kapadia

Grade: C

  • Kapadia’s analysis: “Lloyd’s success could depend a lot on scheme fit. If the Jaguars allow him to do a little bit of everything — play the run, rush the passer, cover — he could develop into one of the more fun players from this draft class. But from a positional value perspective, it’s fair to question the wisdom in trading up for an off-ball linebacker who turns 24 in September.”

Pro Football Focus, Anthony Treash

Grade: Good

  • Treash’s analysis: “Jacksonville takes advantage of a big prospect slide by trading up to 27 for Lloyd, who was No. 15 overall on PFF’s Big Board and the favorite to be the first off-ball linebacker on the board. There are few bones to pick with Lloyd’s game as a prospect. He’s explosive, intuitive and has the frame and physicality the NFL is looking for.”

Will any Utah ties be selected on Day 2?

While Day 3 of the draft (Rounds 4-7) could be busier for Utah prospects, it looks like Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) on Friday will likely be a slow day.

Round 2 begins at 5 p.m. MDT and will be televised on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network.

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The top Utah prospects to sneak into the second or third rounds are Southern Utah/Murray High offensive tackle Braxton Jones and BYU running back Tyler Allgeier, though the odds aren’t in their favor.

Neither showed up in Day 2 mock drafts from, The Athletic or Sports Illustrated.

On ESPN’s best available board, Jones is No. 8 among offensive tackles, while Allgeier is No. 26 among running backs. There were no running backs taken in the first round.

On’s best available board, Jones is No. 10 among offensive tackles, while Allgeier is No. 16 among running backs.

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