Joe Tryon NFL Draft Profile
While this edge rusher class lacks a Chase Young or Bosa brother type of prospect, there are a lot of intriguing prospects in the group. Players who could come in and develop into consistent producers for their respective teams and roles. Tryon opted out of Washington’s 2020 season, but he flashed enough signs in 2019 to potentially warrant an early second-round selection.
Top Three Player Traits
This is a trait that can encompass a few different areas, but where it shows up for Tryon, in particular, is in his get off and in his power rushes. He is a stereotypical outside linebacker at the next level and he has a variety of tools in his tool belt. However, it’s that first step get-off and speed to power rush that happens as a result of the get-off that are the shining stars. His athleticism instantly shows up on tape and he is able to get past opposing blockers with relative ease. He is the most explosive edge rusher off the ball in the class.
The NFL is always looking to add versatile pass rushers to their teams. I do believe that Tryon would be best suited in a 3-4 scheme, due to his lanky frame. The opposite side of that coin, however, is that Tryon is incredibly versatile as a player. Washington asked a lot of him despite his relative inexperience and only one full season as the starter.
One thing that Washington has always done well, is multiple on defense. If you watch them play against Utah they’ll stack eight men in the box no problem. Turn on the tape against Washington State and they’ll be in more of a 3-3-5 scheme. That includes how they rush their defensive linemen as well. They would bump Tryon into the interior quite often so he could rush against guards and he would do very well for himself. In traditional five-man fronts, he even showed the ability to drop into coverage and cover tight ends or running backs out of the backfield. Despite his overall raw ability, he is very well rounded as a prospect who could play in a more traditional 4-3 front as well.
Something I personally always look for when grading edge rushers is their motor. Are they the same player from the first play to the last play? That can sometimes be the difference in the NFL, some players bring it on every snap and others don’t. This is one of the biggest blessings of being a fan of a team with Joey Bosa on it. We all know that Bosa is going to battle on every single snap, regardless of what is happening to his body in the game. He was barely able to play on Monday Night Football in New Orleans this year and he still made game-changing plays off of sheer effort.
This is something that Tryon does well. His inexperience shows up every once in a while and his awareness isn’t the greatest, but he plays HARD. When you watch the tape you see him fighting on every single snap to make an impact, and that attribute matters – at least to me.
This group of DE/OLB group is stacked. Washington's @joe_tryon is a good one. He's a relentless pass rusher. Take a look at these two reps vs. Washington St. in 2019. #Titans pic.twitter.com/CH0iWYS7kv
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) February 18, 2021
Top Three Traits To Improve Upon
Diversity As A Pass Rusher
Wash, rinse, repeat with this one. In Tryon’s particular case his general plan of attack is a speed rush, a speed to power rush, or a dip and rip to the inside as his counter. Countering inside is always a risky business decision for a pass rusher, particularly if the guard closest to you is a free blocker. Ask Melvin Ingram how it felt to get destroyed by Quenton Nelson on that inside spin move two years ago in Carson.
The other downside of this is that you often break contain and don’t hold your outside leverage. Rushing to the inside might work against Kedon Slovis, but it’s not going to work against Patrick Mahomes. Tryon is going to have to work on some outside counters, otherwise, he’s going to be a weekly feature on Jeff Saturday’s pancake segment.
Maintaining Rushing Lanes
This one kind of ties into everything I’ve written so far about Tryon and his overall profile. Like I’ve said before in this series, I would much rather have a player make a mistake in his assignment IF he is doing so with effort. The challenge with Tryon is that he breaks contain both as a pass rusher and as a run defender far too frequently.
With the increased frequency in which NFL teams are running Run-Pass-Option looks on a weekly basis, you need your edge defenders to play hard but also to play smart and not break contain. Tryon would often sell out against the running back on a given play, which would essentially give quarterbacks a free lane to the outside at easy yards with their own legs. Flying to the ball is great, but it’s important not to be overzealous while doing so.
This is the one concern I would have for playing Tryon in a traditional 4-3 defense. I think he needs to get stronger, which he should be able to do once he gets to the NFL. This shows up most when he’s attempting to disengage from opposing blockers. If he’s not able to win initially he can tend to get swallowed up by bigger and stronger tackles or guards. He’s going to have to get stronger in order to be able to shed blockers quicker.
He does also have a little tendency to lack an anchor when engaged in a double team at the point of attack. It’s not a huge deal breaker if he’s working as a 3-4 outside linebacker, though.
Ultimately, the positional scarcity and depth of this particular group of edge rushers this year will create a very fascinating window for Tryon and the others in his class. He is in my top 10 but there are palpable concerns that would make me a little wary of taking him in the first round, however, he would be a fantastic value selection if he were to fall to the Chargers at pick number 47 – or to the Rams at 57 for our Rams readers out there.
Photo Info: Washington Edge Rusher Joe Tryon. Photo Credit: Alika Jenner | Getty Images | LAFB Network Graphic