2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Joe Tryon

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Today we are focusing on Joe Tryon, an edge rusher from the University of Washington who measures in at 6’5″ 262 lbs. Tryon redshirted his freshman season and then burst onto the scene as a redshirt sophomore in 2019 with 12.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. He was named second team All-Pac-12. Tryon opted out of the 2020 season in August in order to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Strengths: In a league where rushing the passer is valued above all else on defense, Tryon will attract a lot of interest due to the raw pass-rush ability he possesses. Tryon has great height, length, and speed off the edge to beat an offensive lineman and get to the quarterback. His get-off is high-level, and his aggressiveness, hand quickness, and coordination allow him to build on it to win the rep. Tryon possesses the kind of athleticism and measurables that could see his stock soar after the combine in February. He also has the body control, agility, and balance to make plays along the line and in the backfield. Tryon excels in pursuit, where his motor and closing speed allow him to chase down the ball carrier successfully. As a pass rusher, Tryon has some basic moves to expand on in his arsenal.

Weaknesses: Having only played one year in college, Tryon is expectedly unrefined as a player, which makes it very disappointing that he chose to opt out. He relies on his athleticism and length too much as a pass rusher, and he needs to vary and develop his pass-rush moves further to capitalize on his natural pass-rushing traits at the next level. Against the run, Tryon is currently a liability. He does not use his length effectively, resulting in him staying glued on blocks and being pushed back by offensive linemen that get into his frame. When he can’t shed blocks, his pursuit skills are wasted. Like many tall edge defenders, Tryon plays too high, which makes him lose leverage and not be as stout as he could be. His instincts and recognition need to improve as well, as he often bites on misdirections or makes the wrong reads, putting himself out of the play.

Bottom Line: Tryon has all the athleticism, length, and production you look for in an edge rusher coming out of college, which gives him immense upside at the next level. He is, however, nowhere near a finished product, and he must improve his pass-rush polish as well as his run defense in order to realize his potential. Tryon will get better with experience, but it will also take high-level development, patience, and commitment for a coaching staff to progress him to the elite edge defender he can be, as he is very much a developmental project. 

Draft Projection: Round 2

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