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Road to the Draft: Devin Lloyd might be the most NFL ready linebacker in this year's draft class

In Devin Lloyd's mind, he's still a wide receiver. Hence why he nabbed four interceptions his senior year at Utah.

Lloyd didn't get into football until high school. Before that, he was your casual teenager who was primarily into playing video games. A few lunch breaks in middle school changed his life and career trajectory.

"Kids were playing at lunch so I would go to see them at lunch. We'd be playing and I just started 'Mossing' kids," Lloyd said Saturday at the Combine. "Eventually fell in love with that competitive nature of going up and getting the ball and it sparked my interest in playing receiver."

Lloyd played wide receiver in high school until midway through his senior season. He attributes his early years at the position to his exceptional hands and coverage skills as an outside linebacker. The 2021 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year added six pass deflections to the four interceptions he secured his senior season as a Ute.

"Understanding what kind of route concepts teams like, understanding where to be and how to beat them to that point," said Lloyd. "Also athletic ability helps as well, but understanding angles, just like football, is something I've come to realize over the last few years. ... Understanding how to beat your opponent to that angle, understanding how to get there the quickest.

"I definitely feel like any time the ball is in the air, it's mine. I've got to catch it."

Watching the tape, Lloyd might possibly be the most athletic linebacker coming out of this year's draft – and the most reminiscent to NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons.

At the Combine, he recorded 25 reps on the bench press, a 4.66 40-yard dash and a 10'6" broad jump, turning in a solid day during his drills.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder displays great sideline-to-sideline playmaking ability along with the excellent trait of getting into the backfield. From Lloyd's sophomore to senior season as a full-time starter, he accumulated 250 total tackles, 43 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two pick-sixes.

One of those interceptions he returned to the end zone came in none other than Allegiant Stadium. Lloyd's 34-yard interception to the house led to Utah's 38-10 victory in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship game over Oregon.

It was a moment Lloyd said he'll "remember for the rest of my life." He was also named the championship game's MVP.

"Allegiant Stadium was beautiful and going out getting a chance to be back in that game, the Pac-12 Championship, was something we all set out to do at the beginning of the season," he said. "It was one of the reasons I came back, to honor our fallen teammates [Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe]. To really just play as one, play as a team. That was special."

Lloyd told the media Friday that he will be in attendance for the NFL Draft in Las Vegas with his family. He also confirmed that he had a formal interview with the Raiders, who could potentially draft the talented linebacker with their No. 22 selection to pair with Pro Bowler Denzel Perryman and Divine Deablo. Nevertheless, Lloyd will be excited to get his name called regardless of what team decides to grab him.

"I'm definitely going to take in the moment whenever it does happen and enjoy that and look back on everything I've done to get to this point. But I'm also really looking forward to the future – wherever I go."

Take a look back at current Raiders' appearances at past NFL Scouting Combines.

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