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Joe Tryon 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Washington Huskies defensive end Joe Tryon is an athletically tantalising prospect, but is he too raw and simply too much of a project to go early in the 2021 NFL Draft? Kevin Sayer today brings us Tryon’s 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report and shares his thoughts on how the talented edge prospect will be best utilised at the next level.

By Kevin Sayer from the NFL Draft Punk Podcast

Listen to the NFL Draft Punk Podcast

Joe Tryon NFL Draft Profile

Joe Tryon, Edge - Washington

Height - 6’5’’

Weight - 262lbs

Class - Redshirt Sophomore

Hometown - Renton, Washington


Joe Tryon was a 3-star recruit where he attended Oliver M. Hazen High School. He played both sides of the ball at defensive end and tight end in high school and was named to the USA Today All-State team. He initially committed to Washington State before opting for Washington.

In 2017 he redshirted but played in 12 out of 14 games in 2018, making his debut against North Dakota State, starting against Oregon State and Utah in the PAC-12 Championship Game. He finished the season with 10 solo tackles of which two were for a loss and one sack.

He saw significantly more playing time in 2019 playing in every game and starting in 12. He earned Second Team All-PAC12 honours, and earned PAC-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week twice for double sack performances against Oregon State and Washington State. He achieved 27 solo tackles of which 12.5 were for a loss with eight sacks.

Tryon opted out of the disjointed PAC 12 2020 season to concentrate on the 2021 NFL Draft.


Tryon aligns in a stand up or hands down alignment on either side of Washington’s defensive line in an even front defense. He has a tall, very muscular physique with a thick trunk and powerful upper body, he is the exact build you want in a defensive end.

He plays with a lot of extension on contact and often initiates it with his 34’’ arms. He has serious pop in his hands; on regular occurrences he appears to surprise a lineman, pushing them back on their heels on impact.

When playing the run and setting the edge he holds a wide stance and shows a lot of upper body strength using the aforementioned hand usage to disengage from blocks. He’s frequently able to locate the free runner in both B and C gaps being a competent tackler.

Tryon is able to create favourable matchups using a change of attack angle on snaps and looks far more dangerous rushing the passer from a wide 9 alignment, this allows him to use his first step and power to isolate the tackle opposite. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily say he is explosive out of his stance he has twitch in his first step and rapidly accelerates quickly, eating up the ground between him and his opponent.

He does a really nice job of converting speed to power which can be seen when sidestepping to attack the inside the inside shoulder of a tackle; tackles will frequently be walked backwards by his bull rush or straight arm. The swim move he uses combined with an inside step is sudden and displays real potential and excitement at the next level as he can drive and power into a gap so quickly when shown the space.

He’s a strong tackler behind the line of scrimmage. When he crashes in, he utilizes his long reach but can be inconsistent in his tackling approach, often bowling into runners rather than wrapping up.

Tryon is all effort all the time, this is from first whistle to last. He shows good energy and motor, and you can see lineman tire from having to manage him all game.

Has added special teams value in kick off and kick off return duties, which at 260+lbs shows his athleticism and straight line speed


Tryon as mentioned is all power-all effort, but despite the good motor there seems to be a flurry of activity with arms and legs that at times feels like wasted energy. This is certainly a coaching aspect to focus on at the NFL level.

His upper body and lower half at times don’t seem to work in coordination with each other, as when he is barrelling into opponents you can see he’s playing with extension yet in the run game it’s evident he’ll be walked backwards. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see the talent progress from 2019 into 2020.

Whilst he has excellent straight-line speed, he doesn’t look natural moving laterally along the line of scrimmage. Stunts and twist or loops are not his game and despite his hugely impressive burst and one step move attacking an inside shoulder he really struggles to shift his weight laterally.

When changing direction or running an arc to the QB, be it outside the shoulder or looping in a gap along the line, he transitions from powerful and bursty to lumbering. This flaw is evident in the run game when he drops into short zone coverage or is isolated in the open field. He is not natural in space and has missed tackles by taking bad angles or being rooted to his spot. You want Tryon doing his run support at or around the line of scrimmage, not five yards backed off it, I see him best placed as a 4-3 end only at the next level.

Tryon is not the type of player to challenge the outside shoulder arcing into a QB. His pro day results clearly show that his straight-line power is hugely impressive, but he displayed only average agility. His game is power and hence he needs to find an effective counter if he’s matched physically at the next level. This rarely happened in college, but he’ll find his match in the NFL.

He’s incredibly strong even when he is pushed back due to being too upright. Whilst he recovers very quickly and is able to correct his upper bodily alignment, he could make life far easier for himself with better technique regarding his hand placement, lower leverage and keeping his body clean. His hand swats are incredibly powerful but due to his natural strength he potentially doesn’t prioritise shrinking his own surface area or nullifying the opposing tackle’s hands.

His counters need work. He attempts a spin move with varying degrees of success, but this doesn’t look a natural movement for him. All too frequently his counter involves changing direction and trying to run around the opposite shoulder of a tackle and as already mentioned his stop start change of direction is not fluid so valuable time has been lost, thus allowing a QB a clean pocket to pick his pass.

Tryon has a huge urgency to get into the backfield but doesn’t keep his eyes on the ball. On a number of occasions, it was obvious he did not know where the ball was. His read and react speed is a little slow, which may improve the more experience he gains.

One thing of note in the film I watched is that he looks like a real confidence player. When he has a good rep they’re immediately followed by another good one or a more purposeful pass rush plan.


Tryon is a raw prospect with plenty of upside. You love the strength, effort and power and his physique, big powerful hands and long arms will get him plenty of notice.

He needs to develop more finesse to his game as right now he has a “bull in a china shop” approach and chooses power and effort on every down. My main area of concern is his play diagnosis especially in run support where schemes with pre-snap movement and misdirection could cause him real problems.

I have seen him mocked in the first round which seems far too high for me despite the edge position being highly coveted. I don’t believe I watched any game where he showed total dominance over an opponent and the one year of production is hard to predict when entering the NFL. His ability to be disruptive and eat space given by a tackle will mean he can contribute on obvious passing downs.


Currently a Round 3 grade but will likely go early 2nd round.

See where Tryon is ranked amongst the rest of the defensive edge prospect: Our full edge rankings here.

Our full Big Board is available to view here.


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More 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Reports:

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