NFL Draft rankings: Linebackers

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Ranking based out of 134 draft-eligible FBS linebackers in my database. Note: Sub-division players not included in rankings below.

1. Devin Lloyd | 6026/237 | Utah

RAS: 9.59

*PFF grade: 4

*PFF coverage: 9

*PFF tackling: 37

*PFF run D: 10

*PFF pass rush: 8

*Note: All rankings out of 134 draft-eligible FBS linebackers

A three-year starter and two-time Butkus Award finalist, Lloyd was a high school receiver and safety who thrived after shifting to linebacker. His 2021 swan song included first-team AP All-American honors and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award.

An athletic super-processor on the field with length for days (6’8 1/4″ wingspan), Lloyd triggers downhill as fast as anyone in the class and brings a huge tackling radius with him. He lives in the backfield, with 43 TFL over 32 starts the last three years. With the agility of the safety he was earlier in life, Lloyd is a tricky moving target for blockers.

Lloyd’s frame is maxed out — he’s never going to have more than average play-strength. Linemen who square him up can put a rep-ending jolt into him. Improved tackling technique will lead to even more tackles. So often, Lloyd is in the right place at the right time, but he too often uses his long arms as lassos to drag down opponents instead of accelerating through contact, leading to broken arm tackles.

Lloyd’s versatility can be seen in his prodigious counting numbers (110 tackles, four interceptions including two pick-6’s, six breakups, 22 TFL, and eight sacks last year). Amongst 134…

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