Any opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team.
In just a few days, college football's top prospects will be at Lucas Oil Stadium for the 2022 Scouting Combine.
The event, which was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be one of the best opportunities for players to get noticed by scouts and improve their stock, and with more than 300 athletes getting ready to converge on Indianapolis, it's time to get more acquainted with them.
Over the next week, Commanders.com will take a dive into each position to see what they have to offer. Here are the positions we've looked at so far:
Next up are the linebackers.
The top prospect (according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.): Devin Lloyd, Utah
Utah's Devin Lloyd was a machine in 2021 with a career-high 111 tackles (66 solo). That was enough to rank third in the Pac-12, and his 22 tackles for a loss tied the second-most in a season in program history.
But there are other reasons why Lloyd is so enticing; he has an eye for coverage. He grabbed four interceptions in his final season, two of which were returned for touchdowns (he was the only active player in the conference to have three picks returned for a score in his career). What's more, he tacked on eight sacks to give him 16.5 in three seasons.
"The versatility stands out as a major plus," Kiper wrote. "I've compared him to former top-five pick Devin White, though I'm curious to see what he runs at the combine to see whether he has the same elite speed as White."
White ran a 4.42 40-yard dash in 2019, and it helped him get drafted No. 5 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Lloyd manages to get a similar time, it should push his stock up even higher.
Looking to improve their stock: Channing Tindall, Georgia
Channing Tindall is not the highest-ranked Bulldog defender. That would be Nakobe Dean, according to Kiper. Tindall didn't have a bad finale to his college career, though, as he recorded 67 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He and Quay Walker led Georgia with eight tackles in the national championship game against Alabama, and he was one of the four players who sacked Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young.
Tindall was the Bulldogs' third-leading tackler, which helped him earn second team All-SEC honors. He knows how to play his role and has solid sideline-to-sideline quickness.
"He has average size and instincts for work between the tackles, but the pursuit speed and tackling talent to run and hit from sideline to sideline," NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote.
A solid run defender, Tindall didn't stand out against the pass much in his time with Georgia and is currently projected as a Day 2 prospect. If he has a good day in Indianapolis, perhaps he can jump up a few spots in people's eyes.
Most intriguing: Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati
You won't find Darrian Beavers on Kiper's top 10 players at the position. Zierlein sees him as someone who could make the backend of a roster and contribute as a special teamer.
With that said, Pro Football Focus sees him as "one of the few true SAM (strong side) linebackers in the class," and Michael Renner believes his 6-foot-4, 252-pound frame should match up well with tight ends.
Beavers, a fifth-year senior, recorded 98 tackles in 2021 to go with four sacks and two pass breakups. He was a Dick Butkus Award finalist and received first team All-AAC honors. He's physical and knows how to take on blockers, which Zierlein believes could help him earn a roster spot.
Full list of prospects
- Christopher Allen, Alabama
- Troy Andersen, Montana State
- Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma
- Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati
- Terrel Bernard, Baylor
- Darien Butler, Arizona State
- Chance Campbell, Mississippi
- Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
- Damone Clark, LSU
- Nakobe Dean, Georgia
- JoJo Domann, Nebraska
- Jeremiah Gemmel, North Carolina
- Isaiah Graham-Mobley, Boston College
- Jake Hansen, Illinois
- Aaron Hansford, Texas A&M
- Christian Harris, Alabama
- D'Marco Jackson, Appalachian State
- Drake Jackson, USC
- Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State
- Nate Landman, Colorado
- Devin Lloyd, Utah
- Boye Mafe, Minnesota
- Zakoby McClain, Auburn
- Micah McFadden, Indiana
- Jeremiah Moon, Florida
- Chad Muma, Wyoming
- Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State
- Mike Rose, Iowa State
- Josh Ross, Michigan
- Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin
- Nephi Sewell, Utah
- Brandon Smith, Penn State
- Baylon Spector, Clemson
- Channing Tindall, Georgia
- Quay Walker, Georgia
- Tre Williams, Arkansas