With the fifth pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. For a while, Thibodeaux was the projected number one pick, before falling off later in the college football season. Thibodeaux has a chance to be another stellar pass rusher in Giants history.
Kayvon Thibodeaux’s last season with the Oregon Ducks was marred by an ankle injury that caused him to miss some time. Despite that, he still managed to seven sacks and 12 tackles for a loss, named as a first team AP All-American and nominated for a list of awards. As a freshman, back in 2019, he led the team with 14 tackles for a loss and nine sacks, picking up a handful of freshman honors along the way. This is a player who’s going to have an immediate impact in the pros, and his ceiling is even higher. He’s going to be an early first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Kayvon Thibodeaux: Scouting Report
Thibodeaux is long and lean, looking exactly like the pass rusher you might get from central casting. He’s 6-foot-4, 258 pounds, with a wingspan that exceeds 33 inches. What you’ll really notice about him, though, is that first step. It’s a killer move that gets him well on his way to where he needs to be, which is usually in the backfield bringing down some unsuspecting signal caller. His hands aren’t where they need to be as a pass rusher, but that’s something he can learn.
In fact, the biggest knock against Thibodeaux is that he’s still developing as a pass rusher. You’ll see that not just in his hand usage, as well as his still pretty basic quiver of pass rushing moves. He’ll get better at diagnosing plays too. All of it points to a tremendous upside that could make him one of the league’s best pass rushers in the years ahead.
Mock Draft landing spots
Mel Kiper/Todd McShay (ESPN): No. 3, Houston Texans
“The Texans had just 32 sacks last season, and Thibodeaux has an incredibly fast first step off the edge. Houston has been looking for a top pass-rusher since it moved on from J.J. Watt last offseason.” – McShay
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): No. 4, New York Jets
“The Jets have to get help for their pass rush. While Thibodeaux has fallen some, there is a lot to like with his game. Robert Saleh would love to add this type of edge player.”
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): No. 4, New York Jets
“The Jets should be thrilled if Thibodeaux slips here to become the explosive cornerstone pass-rusher for coach Robert Saleh, which will remind him of having Nick Bosa powering his defense in San Francisco. This makes great sense as the follow-up high first-rounder to quarterback Zach Wilson.”
Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports): No. 3, Houston Texans
“Thibodeaux is too talented for the Texans to pass on here.”