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Kayvon Thibodeaux Scouting Report

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 27: Kayvon Thibodeaux #5 of the Oregon Ducks rushes against the Oregon State Beavers at Autzen Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

The 2022 NFL Draft is loaded with talented pass rushers and Kayvon Thibodeaux just might be the best of them. There has been much debate over who the best edge rusher in the class is, Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux? Either you want a polished NFL-ready edge defender or a high ceiling pass rusher who needs to do some developing in the NFL. Here is the case for why Kayvon Thibodeaux should be crowned as the best edge defender in the class.

Position: 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 254 lbs

Year: RS Sophomore

Strengths

  1. Few college edge rushers play with the keen football IQ that Thibodeaux possesses. There are countless instances throughout his tape where he alters his rush mid-way to adjust to where the quarterback is in the pocket and he often plays with a great understanding of leverage. In the run game, he is great at predicting which hole to fill based on the backs’ footwork. Thibodeaux is a sharp player when it comes to understanding the game and it should help to ease his transition to the NFL.
  2. The pass rush repertoire that Kayvon Thibodeaux uses is ridiculous. Along with being a smart player he has a wide variety of hand moves and counters. He’ll often set up opposing tackles with a fake bull rush and kick out to a rip and dip type of move and it just shows how savvy of a pass rusher he is. He is a big-time pass-rushing threat from the moment he steps onto an NFL field and should find the quarterback early and often in his career.
  3. Possibly Thobodeaux’s most enticing feature is his ceiling at the next level. With a bit of development and polish, Kayvon could be a top-five quarterback hunter in the NFL. His athleticism is just off the charts and he is such a smooth mover for as lanky and powerful as he is. His ridiculous athleticism paired with his high football IQ and variety of pass rush moves has to be making NFL general managers drool over the player he could be in a year or two.

Weaknesses

  1. Generally, when a player has a really high ceiling coming into the NFL, they carry a higher risk of being a bust and Thibodeaux is no exception. At the very least I think he could be a rotational pass rusher which is definitely not worth a first-round pick. However, Thibodeaux also has All-Pro potential and that is worth a top-five pick. Needless to say, whatever team takes him will have to be willing to deal with the risk.

Summary

Personally, I think Kayvon deserves to be the number one overall pick this year. The three most important positions in football today are the passers, pass protectors, and pass rushers. A pass rusher with the potential of Thibodeaux is too much to pass up especially in a class with no top-end quarterback talent. Teams will fall in love with his size, strength, athleticism, pass rush variety, and football IQ and despite carrying the risk of a high potential player, teams will ignore it when they think of what Kayvon could really become in the right system. I can’t wait to see what he does throughout his career.

Team Fits: Lions, Jaguars, Jets, Giants, Falcons, Texans, Seahawks

Draft Projection: Top five pick

Pro Comparison: Marcus Davenport/Jadeveon Clowney

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