Washington Huskies edge rusher Joe Tryon poised for stardom

After a breakout redshirt sophomore campaign, Washington Huskies edge rusher Joe Tryon is poised for college football stardom in 2020. Pro Football Network Draft Analyst Andrew DiCecco details why Tryon is such an exciting prospect, here.

The 2021 NFL Draft figures to include an enticing batch of pass rushers poised to make an immediate impact at the next level, headed by Miami’s Gregory Rousseau and Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham. Clemson standout Xavier Thomas, another preseason favorite, is also among the elite. However, while the previously-mentioned highly-touted trio indubitably offers blue-chip upside, don’t forget about Washington edge rusher Joe Tryon. Rising from the depths to piece together an eight-sack campaign a season ago, there are few defenders in the country that can elevate their draft stock and solidify their status more in 2020 than Tryon.

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University of Washington

Long before he entrenched himself as one of the premier edge rushers in college football, Joe Tryon faced a similar fate of many freshmen across the country, and was issued the redshirt designation upon arriving on campus. Just a few months earlier, the Hazen High School standout was heralded as an enticing three-star recruit poised to take the college football world by storm. Due to inactivity, however, the Washington native soon became an afterthought.

Tryon eventually broke into the Huskies’ defensive line rotation as a redshirt freshman, however, appearing in 12 games, finishing with 20 tackles (two for loss), and his first collegiate sack.

By the time his redshirt sophomore campaign rolled around, it became evident early on that Tryon was destined for college football stardom. In an early-season conference clash with Cal, the 6-foot-5, 262-pound edge rusher compiled seven tackles and a key sack in the one-point loss. Later in the season, Tryon produced perhaps his finest performance of the season against the Utah Utes. Against the nation’s ninth-ranked team, Tryon amassed six tackles and a pair of sacks in a near upset.

In all, Tryon’s breakout 2019 campaign included 41 tackles (12.5 for loss) and 8.0 sacks. He notched three double-digit sack outings over the course of his redshirt sophomore season, and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week following a two-sack showing in a lopsided affair against Washington State in the regular season finale. Tryon earned second-team All-Pac-12 recognition for his stellar production.

Joe Tryon’s 2020 outlook

Appearing on Athlon’s preseason first-team All-Pac-12 list following his sophomore emergence, Tryon won’t be sneaking up on the opposition in 2020.

In order for Tryon to duplicate his success, he must formulate a plan to counteract the extra attention expected from teams by developing a more diverse pass rush arsenal, and return to Seattle a more disciplined and instinctive player. With games against Michigan, Oregon, and Stanford on Washington’s 2020 slate of games, Tryon will have an opportunity to showcase his ability against a bevy of formidable offensive lines.

Largely due to his tremendous length, along with his rapidly developing power and bend, I firmly believe that Tryon has yet to scratch the surface of how good he can be. Another season of high-level play could earn him that prestigious blue-chip label.

Washington’s fast-flowing, attacking 3-4 defense is centered around the play of Tryon and versatile defensive back Elijah Molden, and there is a strong chance that both defenders land on the first-team All-Pac-12 list by season’s end. Tryon, in particular, offers double-digit sack upside in 2020 — which should ultimately cement the ascending Huskies pass rusher as a surefire first-round pick next April.

2021 NFL Draft

While Tryon possesses the requisite frame and athleticism to flourish as a traditional 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker, his ideal fit at the next level will likely be as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

For all of Tryon’s positive traits, there are specific areas of his game that need refining in order for sustained success at the professional level. First and foremost, Tryon must improve his play recognition, as he too often appears indecisive when the ball is snapped. Tryon’s exceptional get-off is both a gift and a curse, as his upfield rushes will at times take him out of plays and widen running lanes. While the Washington defender has largely demonstrated a firm grasp of leverage, Tryon will at times grapple with inconsistent pad level.

After unexpectedly bursting onto the scene last season, all eyes will undoubtedly be on Joe Tryon in 2020. Tryon has the physical traits to become an elite sack artist, and if his discipline and awareness catch up to his innate athleticism, he’ll become a household name sooner rather than later.

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