As the 2022 NFL Draft nears, several college players continue to gain hype as projected top picks. Kayvon Thibodeaux has been a consensus top 5 prospect since the beginning of the season, and he’s certainly a top edge rusher in the draft. With the 5th and 7th picks in the draft, Joe Schoen and the New York Giants have lots of options in the first round. Getting an incredible talent that also fills a huge need could help tremendously.
Kayvon Thibodeaux is a 6’5″ 258 pound freak of nature who can disrupt any offense. With exceptional speed, Thibodeaux is able to beat blocks and get pressure on the QB. If his speed doesn’t beat his blocks, he always has a great secondary move or a bullrush in his arsenal. He’s very good in the run game especially when on the backside. Topped with great closing speed, Thibodeaux is the edge rusher you want to have against the Kyler Murrays and Lamar Jacksons of the world. His closest NFL comparisons are Myles Garrett and Chase Young based on his pure size and athleticism.
On the downside (which there is very little of), he needs to work on his game on runs towards him. He can get beat from time to time at the point of attack. Thibodeaux has shown time after time that he can take over a game if he wants, however, he has a tendency to coast through games from time to time. To succeed at an NFL level he has to solve that problem. Outside of those very few and very small problems, Kayvon Thibodeaux possesses everything he needs to be a dominant edge rusher in the NFL.
Thibodeaux’s talent was put on display at Oregon. Through 10 games he put up great numbers. 7 sacks, 35 solo tackles, 49 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles. Although he didn’t put up the numbers expected from him, he battled injury all year. Through his whole college career, he put up 19 sacks in 30 games, 126 tackles (84 of them solo, 34 for loss), and 3 forced fumbles. He’s been able to consistently put up the numbers of top talent at his position year after year. Even in a somewhat disappointing year where he fought off injuries, he was able to put up stats that show why he deserves to go in the top 5.
In terms of production at an NFL level, he shows the promise of being able to do that. Any team that gets him is going to have a strong rookie year from him with at least 6.5 sacks. He’ll certainly be a game wrecker for offensive lines everywhere shortly into his NFL career.
As much as I wish the Giants could get this guy, he’s going to be off the board before 5. Not only a positional need for every top 5 draft team, but his pure talent alone makes him a valuable player that any team would be foolish to pass on. Thibodeaux will most likely go to go to the Texans or Lions, but don’t count him out of going to any of the teams drafting top 5.
Kayvon Thibodeaux is an incredible talent and is going to be one of the best edge rushers we have seen and will see come out of the draft. In my opinion, he’s even better than Aidan Hutchinson, but that will be a debate for years to come. Schoen and company should definitely have this guy on their radar and make no mistake if he’s available at pick #5.