Mel Kiper Jr. Puts Utah LB Devin Lloyd As Mid-First Round Pick

Jan 19, 2022, 3:10 PM

Mel Kiper...

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft of 2022 and has Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd going in the first round.

If Mel Kiper has another accurate mock draft, which it likely will, Devin Lloyd will be the first Utah defender to go in the first round since Star Lotulelei in 2013.

If Lloyd is taken in the first round, he will be the first Utah linebacker to go in the first round in program history. That says a lot about Lloyd’s ability, given that the Utes have seen 13 linebackers get selected in the draft.

Kiper has Lloyd going to the Philadelphia Eagles with the 15th overall pick. Here is what Kiper said about Lloyd:

“I had to dive deep back into my research to find the last time the Eagles took a linebacker in Round 1, going all the way back to Jerry Robinson in 1979. I was 18 years old at the time of that draft. This is both a need and value pick, as Lloyd is coming off a tremendous season. I’ve compared him to Tampa Bay’s Devin White — he’s an off-ball linebacker with speed, versatility, range and run-and-hit ability. He had eight sacks and four picks last season. This would be a major boost to the Philly D.”

All-time, Philadelphia has selected seven Utes in the NFL Draft. The most recent was Eric Rowe in the second round of the 2015 Draft.

Utah Football’s Draft History In First Round

Lloyd will likely join an elite list of Utah football players that were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. To this point, the Utes have seen eight players taken in the first round, five on offense and three on defense.

  • 1959: Lee Grosscup, QB, No. 10 overall to New York Giants
  • 1971: Norm Thompson, DB, No. 17 overall to St. Louis Rams
  • 1995: Luther Elliss, DT, No. 20 overall to Detroit Lions
  • 1998: Kevin Dyson, WR, No. 16 overall to Tennessee Titans
  • 2003: Jordan Gross, OT, No. 8 overall to Carolina Panthers
  • 2005: Alex Smith, QB, No. 1 overall to San Francisco 49ers
  • 2013: Star Lotulelei, DT, No. 14 overall to Carolina Panthers
  • 2017: Garett Bolles, OT, No. 20 overall to Denver Broncos

You can follow along with Devin Lloyd’s NFL journey with KSL Sports Locals In The NFL Insider Kyle Ireland.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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Mel Kiper Jr. Puts Utah LB Devin Lloyd As Mid-First Round Pick