Alabama Draft Prospects 2022

NFL Draft Profile – Kayvon Thibodeaux

NFL Draft Profile – Kayvon Thibodeaux

School – Oregon Ducks

Position – Defensive End

Class – Junior

Height – 6’5” Weight – 258lbs

Ranked the number 2 prospect out of high school in 2019 by 247sports, Kayvon Thibodeaux chose Oregon over many of the top schools. The big defensive end has backed up the ranking in his 3 seasons with the Ducks. In 30 games he has recorded 82 solo tackles, 40 assisted tackles and 19 sacks. Of course the stats stand out but he also has been recognised by people in the game, picking up the Morris Trophy award and voted an All-American in 2021, amongst other awards. Thibodeaux is a special talent with many top-level attributes that we are going to dive into below. Will he be the first name called on the 28th of April?

Qualities

First lets talk about Thibodeaux’s explosiveness out of his stance. His get off is so fast that you would think he has false started most of the time. Once he is off the line he attacks the offensive lineman in many ways. He can use his first step to the outside or inside to get the OT off balance. With his next step he explodes the other way and brushes past the block and into the backfield. Another trait that makes him an excellent prospect is his bend. Once he has exploded out of his stance, he has incredible bend to get under or around tackles. Within seconds he is putting pressure on the quarterback or causing a sack.

If he doesn’t beat you with his step, he will beat you with his hands. His technique is excellent, swatting linemans hands away from engaging and getting under his pads. Thibodeaux also has long arms that he uses to force into the chest of lineman. This combined with his powerful leg drive forces them backwards out of their stance. Numerous times we see him using his explosiveness to get tackles off balance, then those long arms come into play, pushing tackles backwards.

In the run game he is also a handful. Thibodeaux has strong hands that help him push off from blocks and has excellent lateral movement to get back down inside the line of scrimmage. Here he plugs the gaps to stop running backs breaking through. He is also feracious in pursuit, chasing down RBs and making tackles from behind. Thibodeaux is an excellent tackler and its rare you see him miss one, as he uses his long frame to wrap up rather than trying to inflict a big hit.

Areas of Improvement

The main area where Thibodeaux needs to improve is his versatility off the edge. In college he has shown the tendency to rely on bull rushing tackles. This has worked fine but at the next level he needs to add other ways to win. We have seen Thibodeaux use some skill moves, but adding a few more will make him an even inferior edge rusher.

Conclusion

As a NFL Draft Profile – Kayvon Thibodeaux is the real deal. In my opinion he is the number 1 prospect in the draft and it’s hard to argue with that. Thibodeaux has so many top-level attributes and its scary to think his ceiling has still not been reached. A high level competitor, he will be a day 1 starter for most, if not every team in the NFL. A top 3 pick in this years draft is more than likely.

-Jordan Merrit @Jordm87

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