After a standout career at the University of Utah, Devin Lloyd has a new home.
The linebacker was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 27th pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday.
Right away, Lloyd showed his strength and form, wrapping up NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for a bear hug on stage in Las Vegas.
“I’m just ready to go to turn up, and to win a Super Bowl,” Lloyd told the NFL Network. “This is just humbling.. [Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe] are watching over me. I love y’all. I don’t have a whole lot of words.”
Lloyd, sporting a custom suit lined with images from his time with the Utes and his journey to the pros, was in Las Vegas for the draft along with Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and linebackers coach Colton Swan.
Lloyd recorded 111 tackles (66 solo), eight sacks and four interceptions last season, helping lead the Utes to their first ever Rose Bowl appearance.
“You have to earn everything you get,” Lloyd said in a press conference after being drafted. “But for me, my confidence, I see myself as a plug-and-play. Come in immediately, handle myself like a pro, and go out and do everything I can to win.”
The San Diego native was a consensus All-American. He was also named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year and finished as a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in the country.
Whether it’s covering tight ends, playing the run, or rushing the passer, Lloyd said he feels ready for the NFL level.
“I feel like I’m the most complete at doing those things at a high level,” he said. “And I’m only going to get better. I feel like my ceiling is really high.”
Lloyd became the ninth player in program history to land in the first round of the draft. He is the first Ute since 2017 to be drafted this high since Garett Bolles was picked by the Denver Broncos.
“He checked every box,” Whittingham said in the lead up to the draft. “And to see that come to fruition and to have him be positioned right now where he is in the draft has been a real testament to him and who he is as a person and a competitor.”
Lloyd remains the only local player to be taken in the NFL Draft thus far. Looking ahead, BYU’s Tyler Allgeier could be taken on Friday night. The running back has been projected anywhere from a third-to-sixth round draft pick.
Currently, his slower 40-yard dash time remains the biggest question mark to his draft stock. After running a 4.6 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine — in the bottom of eligible running backs — his stock took a hit, according to multiple NFL Draft experts.
The Tribune will update this story.