Lions Coaching Staff ‘Isn’t a Fan’ of Top Draft Prospect: Report

Brad Holmes Rod Wood

Getty Brad Holmes and Rod Wood mix it up during Lions training camp in July 2021.

The Detroit Lions are pushing through silly season with regards to rumors and information when it comes to the 2022 NFL draft, and the latest bit of conjecture represents a whopper that could change the outlook of the draft.

In the start of the draft process, many weren’t sure the Lions would look away from top defensive line prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux. As the process played out, though, many figured Thibodeaux would start to fall due to concerns. A surge back in the other direction has happened since, but as the draft gets closer, another tidbit has leaked which could show one way the Lions may nod elect to lean when all is said and done.

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In a piece for Sports Illustrated, writer Albert Breer took a look at putting together a new mock draft based on some conjecture he has heard before the draft. As Breer said, the Lions could be keeping an open mind in plenty of ways, but they may be scratching Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux off the list.

As Breer wrote in the piece, “I can tell you that no one I’ve talked to at this point believes that Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux is in any way a culture fit for Detroit coach Dan Campbell. “His personality is a lot,” said one exec, “and you hear the head coach there isn’t a fan.”

Thibodeaux perhaps being off the list would represent quite a shift for the Lions, but it’s important to remember that rumors can leak from every location for different agendas at the conclusion of the draft process. It’s possible the Lions don’t want anyone to know they are smitten with Thibodeaux and their pick would be a lock for leverage’s sake.

What is fact and what is fiction is likely very hard to discern at this point in time, especially given the fact that Detroit recently sent a major contingent to watch Thibodeaux and seemed generally pleased with what went down at that workout. It may have been a case of doing diligence if Breer’s piece is to be believed, but it didn’t seem like the Lions were averse to selecting Thibodeaux the way they got on with him during the event. Thibodeaux also visited Detroit recently, so it seems as if he is firmly part of the process.

Rumors at this point hold that the Lions don’t like Thibodeaux. Whether that is the case or not will be hashed out at the end of April.


Breer Makes Prediction for Lions Pick

So what will the Lions do when all is said and done according to Breer’s mock? As he writes, he believes the team will pick Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker when everything settles. Though Walker represents a definite risk, Breer believes he would make sense for the Lions because of the potential he offers to become one of the greats in the class on defense.

“Walker, on the other hand, would make sense, if the Lions are confident they can develop him into more than he was on his college tape,” Breer wrote of Detroit’s eventual selection.

In addition to the defensive line, Breer wrote that fans should watch out for a potential selection at defensive back as well, even though such a move would represent quite a risk in terms of positional value so early in the 2022 draft. Regardless, as Breer sees it, the Lions could be wide open and an interesting wild card to watch when their turn on the clock comes in a few more weeks.


Thibodeaux’s Stats & Highlights

The Lions have looked closely Thibodeaux during the process already. It’s clear the player is an interesting prospect considering his penchant for getting to the quarterback and making big plays up front.

Coming into this season, Thibodeaux had collected 90 career tackles, 14 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss thus far in his college career. In 2021, he followed that up with a decent year given 49 tackles, 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.

Here’s some of his top work on the field:


Kayvon Thibodeaux 🔥 Scariest Player in College Football ᴴᴰKayvon Thibodeaux Highlights college football pump up nfl draft2021-11-29T23:58:46Z

It’s obvious that Thibodeaux has the physical tools to be great, but does he have the mental ones? That may be the biggest question when all is said and done. Some still believe in him overall as a pick for the Lions when all is said and done, but that case could be getting more complicated by the day the more bread crumbs that emerge in the process.

READ NEXT: Heavy on Lions Reveals Mock Draft 3.0

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