Kayvon Thibodeaux - EDGE - Oregon
Welcome to the rookie profile for Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux is an explosive, bendy edge rusher who has been primed for the big time since his five-star recruiting grade and was the number 1 ESPN 100 out of high school before joining Oregon. Thibodaux is one of the best pass rushers to enter the draft in a long time.
Height: 6′ 5″
Weight: 250 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.59s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Thibodeaux was a 5 star recruit and the 2019 No.1 ESPN 100 out of high school, receiving an astounding 27 offers including offers from Alabama, Florida and USC; after a battle for his college commitment Thibodeaux chose Oregon stating that one of the main reasons he opted for them was his comfort level with the coaching staff.
In Thibodeaux’s freshman year although he was only credited with 5 starts he did actually appear in all 14 games of the season for Oregon and racked up an impressive 35 tackles, 9 sacks and a forced fumble in his debut season. He was named the 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, continuing the hype from his eye-catching high school displays.
2020 was a season which saw Oregon’s defensive ends dominate as Thibodeaux contributed with 42 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks; Thibodeaux leading the team on tackles for a loss for a second consecutive season as well as leading the Pac-12 for quarterback pressures and hurries. In 2020 Thibodeaux was named the Morris Trophy winner and was also honored in the first-team All-Pac 12.
Thibodeaux showed us in 2021 why he’ll be a top 5 draft pick as he continued to dominate collegiate football despite missing 2 games after getting injured in the season opener; this didn’t stop him amassing 49 tackles, 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles on the year. Thibodeaux became the first Oregon Defensive Lineman since DeForest Buckner back in 2015 to be voted to the College Football All-America Team and he was voted unanimously by his peers, and he was once again honored in the first-team All-Pac 12.
Thibodeaux is the best natural pass rusher in this year’s draft class and possibly the best we’ve seen for several years. He’s an explosive EDGE with a combination of elite level speed, length, power and can use his arms to keep opposing offensive tackles at bay and is able to wrap up ball carriers in the ground game.
Thibodeaux has the physique and athletic frame with tremendous explosion who can accelerate low with power and precision. He dominates in the ground game and it’s more than likely we’ll regularly see Thibodeaux rack up double-digit sack seasons in the NFL as well as numerous future Pro Bowl appearances, his natural rush ability with a burst of speed allows him to explode around the edge and makes him a constant danger.
He possesses a great ‘swim move’ and an excellent up and under move as well as an elite spin move which causes havoc with the opposition, often struggling to contain him. He has a natural ability to change direction quickly and always maintains an explosive movement, a combination of agility and speed gives him a big advantage in rushing off the edge.
Thibodeaux is as NFL ready as you’ll see and I could easily have just not filled anything in for this section but that wouldn’t make the greatest of reading. Just like that, this ‘negatives’ section is officially called the ‘what needs to be added to become one of the best’ and on this note it would be great if he could improve his arsenal of hand moves and once he does this and adds in swipe moves as well as a more consistent long arm into his game he’ll become unstoppable.
He may be asked to add a little more weight to his frame as he enters the NFL; this will then add further to his already impressive functional strength and will help make his power and leverage even more lethal at the next level.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 1
It’s hard to guess where Thibodeaux will be drafted as three of the consensus top four prospects in the draft are at the EDGE position and whilst the Jags, Texans, Jets and Lions make good landing spots I see a much more desirable option for him (also as a Vikings fan the last thing I want to see in the NFC North is Thibodeaux chasing down Captain Kirk twice a season)
A perfect landing spot for Thibodeaux would be mile high in the City of Denver, they would need to trade up from their current 11th spot but it’s a move that makes sense for everyone involved. Denver defensive coordinator, Ed Donatell likes to roll out a 3-4 scheme with Bradley Chubb often operating as dedicated pass rusher; with long-standing Bronco, Von Miller now in LA with the Rams it’d make perfect sense for Thibodeaux to slot in and compliment Chubb’s pass rushing work and with a quality secondary filling in behind – this will allow Thibodeaux to make the instant impact we all want to see.