It appears Washington football’s star outside linebacker is going to opt-out of the season and prepare for the NFL Draft
Washington football is putting another stud defender into the NFL, as Joe Tryon has signed with an agent, which makes him ineligible to continue competing in NCAA sanctioned events. The outside linebacker prospect has been given top 50 grades from multiple draft scouts in the media, and for those people he’s the second EDGE prospect on their boards behind Gregory Rousseau from Miami, who has also opted out of the upcoming season.
With his decision, Tryon joins a growing list of likely first-rounders to opt-out, including Rousseau, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, and a list of receivers including Purdue’s Rondale Moore, Minnesota’s Rashaad Bateman, and Wake Forest’s Sage Surratt. While Tryon might not be a slam dunk first-round pick right now, this is a relatively weak EDGE class, with not a lot of big names outside of the two listed headlining early draft boards.
Tryon is a legitimate outside linebacker prospect, who is a freakish athlete at 6’5, 260 pounds. He has the ability to rush the passer with his hand on the ground or as a standup edge. His best fit will be in a base 3-4 defense, where he holds additional responsibilities of dropping into shallow zone coverage, and maybe from time to time shadowing a running back or tight end in man coverage.
After a slow start to his redshirt sophomore season, Tryon turned it on towards the end, recording two sacks against Oregon State, Utah, and Washington State. He finished the year with eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss.
So who’s next for the Huskies? Well we can start with Laiatu Latu. The sophomore EDGE from California will essentially step into Tryon’s role and will see a huge uptick in snaps during his second year. The equally impressive physical specimen will probably see a similar jump in production.
Latu was projected to start opposite Tryon, and now the hole he leaves will probably be filled by a combination of Sav’ell Smalls and Zion Tupuola-Fetui. Don’t be surprised if Smalls, the five-star prospect, takes over the starting role if we see a winter season take place. With more time to get physically ready to play at the Pac-12 level, Smalls and Latu could be the conference’s most dynamic pass-rush duo.