Kayvon Thibodeaux | Oregon 6’4” 254 lbs. | 12/15/2000 (Age 21)
Kayvon Thibodeaux was drafted fifth overall by the New York Giants, becoming the third edge defender drafted and the fifth overall defensive player in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Kayvon Thibodeaux was a five-star recruit and the consensus No. 1 recruit of the 2019 class coming out of Los Angeles’ Oaks Christian High School. The USA Today High School Defensive Player of the Year had 54 sacks in four years (two at Dorsey High School) and enrolled early at Oregon to contribute immediately the following fall. Thibodeaux has been a favorite of your author’s for the past three seasons and should have been definitely considered as the number one overall pick.
In 2019 Thibodeaux earned Defensive Freshman of the Year with 35 tackles, including a team-high 14 TFLs and nine sacks, three pass breakups and one blocked kick. The next year he posted 9.5 TFLs and three sacks in the covid-shortened season, after being the focal point of the opposing offense’s blocking schemes. This past year he missed time with an ankle injury but still posted twelve TFLs, seven sacks, and 50 total tackles. Thibodeaux has an unmatched “get-off” and explosive moves as a pass rusher.
At the NFL Combine, Thibodeaux measured in at 6’4” and 254 lbs. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58–an excellent time for his size. He recorded 27 reps on the bench press and chose not to participate in any of the other tests. Thibodeaux is an early-declare with elite upside.
Rapid Reaction to Draft Capital: Excellent
Rapid Reaction to Landing Spot: Below-Average
Thibodeaux was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
The only knock your author has on Thibodeaux now is his landing spot. The giants not only are void of talent on their defense, but they appear to be transitioning to a base 3-4. This means Thibodeaux may get designated as an LB on fantasy platforms, greatly diminishing his value. Had he been guaranteed a DE tag and drafted to even a decent defense, he would be your author’s DE1 in this 2022 class. Now, questions abound. If you are playing in a true-position IDP dynasty league then you have nothing to worry about–Thibodeaux is a homerun and should be selected in the early second of your dynasty draft.
It is important to note that this does not take anything away from Thibodeaux as a player, he is still a stud. He could become one of those rare pass-rushing 3-4 OLBs that are consistent enough to be worth starting in your LB slot.
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