Kayvon Thibodeaux
Mark J. Rebilas | USA TODAY Sports

The Giants could target Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Kayvon Thibodeaux info

  • EDGE, Oregon
  • 6-foot-5, 258 pounds
  • 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year
  • 2020 Morris Trophy winner for best d-lineman in Pac-12
  • Two-time first-team All-Pac-12 (2020, 2021)
  • Unanimous All-American (2021)
  • 2019 Stats (13 games): 35 total tackles (24 solo), 14 tackles for loss, nine sacks, three passes defended, one forced fumble
  • 2020 Stats (seven games): 42 total tackles (25 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three passes defended
  • 2021 Stats (10 games): 49 total tackles (35 solo), 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one pass defended, two forced fumbles

How Kayvon Thibodeaux would fit into the Giants roster

The Giants need a talented pass rusher to complement Leonard Williams and Azeez Ojulari. Both Williams and Ojulari are talented, but adding another weapon to this area of the roster would assist the Giants in overwhelming opposing offensive lines, which is crucial in the passing league that the modern-day NFL is.

Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson isn’t likely to be available for the Giants at No. 5 overall, but there’s a chance Kayvon Thibodeaux will be. In fact, there’s a chance he could be available for the Giants at No. 7. Barring any sort of trade, the Panthers will have the sixth pick (in between Big Blue’s No. 5 and 7 selections) and won’t be in desperate need of a pass rusher. If the Giants could nab the best available offensive tackle at No. 5 and Thibodeaux at No. 7, it would be a perfect first round for New York.

But anyway, if Thibodeaux was to find himself in East Rutherford, he would be an instant starter. The Giants could utilize him as a down lineman on the opposite side of Williams or as a 3-4 outside linebacker opposite of Ojulari. He’s versatile enough to succeed in multiple spots and would certainly fit into Wink Martindale’s blitz-heavy defense.

Kayvon Thibodeaux Film Room notes

Thibodeaux and Oregon’s 2021 win over UCLA (nine total tackles, eight solo tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble)

This isn’t a huge play from Thibodeaux in comparison to some of the other plays he was able to make. But you can see his speed and power as he swiftly makes his way from the edge to the middle of the field to reach the ball-carrier.

On this specific play, Thibodeaux portrays his speed to reach the backfield, footwork to break down, and wingspan to successfully bring down UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

Is UCLA seriously putting a tight end out there to block Thibodeaux? The talented edge rusher uses great strength to aim towards the opponent’s outside shoulder and bends just enough to reach the quarterback for the sack and forced fumble.

We see that strength from Kayvon once again here, as he pushes the UCLA ball-carrier back just enough to prevent him from reaching the line to gain.

The speed to quickly get out of the down-lineman stance; the strength when gunning towards the tackle’s outside shoulder; the flexibility to properly bend into the quarterback; the power to finish the play — all of these qualities were perfect on this sack from Kayvon.

The difference in the speed of the game from the college to the pros is significant. But Thibodeaux shows on the above play that he’s ready for that — Kayvon is in the backfield almost immediately.

And finally, in these last two clips, Thibodeaux utilizes many of the qualities we’ve already mentioned to force incomplete passes from Thompson-Robinson.

Thibodeaux and Oregon’s 2021 win over Washington State (six total tackles, six solo tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks)

Thibodeaux’s significant power allows him to get inside positioning and plug the hole on this Washington State run play.

Thibodeaux overpowers the tackle, uses his vision to find an inside lane to the quarterback, and records the sack in this clip.

Absurd athleticism here — Kayvon rushes the passer but is still fast enough to turn, catch up with the receiver, and make the tackle after the screen pass (to the opposite side) is completed.

And finally, we see Thibodeaux use that strength to get inside leverage on the tackle before squaring up and finishing the sack.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.