With the fifth-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux out of Oregon.
Thibodeaux has been in the spotlight for years. He’s from Los Angeles, California, and was the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2019. The day before the draft, he was asked about the possibility of playing in New York. The 6-foot-4, 254-pound pass rusher then explained why he’s a “perfect fit” for the media capital of the world.
ALL the latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!
Watch his response, courtesy of SNY on Twitter:
“My business savvy is a perfect fit,” Thibodeaux said. “My gregariousness is a perfect fit. My hunger for knowledge is a perfect fit.”
Thibodeaux sounds like he’s going to fit in just fine. Although he’s from the West Coast, he considers New York his “second home.”
“That’s the biggest stage,” Thibodeaux said the day before the draft. “That’s primetime. I’m ready. I’m excited. I don’t wanna get my hopes up, I’ll be happy to go anywhere. That’d be fun.”
Thibodeaux went on to describe what he believes is the typical New York mentality.
“The people, they’re hungry,” he said. “The ambition, the want-to, the drive.”
Hopefully for the Giants, Thibodeaux adopts this mentality on the field and not just his business ventures in New York.
Giants Had Reported Concerns About Thibodeaux
A year ago, Thibodeaux was the considered the favorite to go No. 1 overall. The fact that he ended up going fifth overall to the Giants was partly due to his unspectacular production at Oregon and partly due to red flags that emerged during the pre-draft process.
The Giants raised one of those flags earlier this month. According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, the team had concerns that Thibodeaux is “more interested in creating his own brand than becoming a great player. One factor that led them to this conclusion was Thibodeaux’s decision to switch agencies to Klutch Sports Group, which was founded by LeBron James.
Thibodeaux had 19.0 sacks in 30 games at Oregon from 2019-2021. Here’s what NFL Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein had to say about him in his profile for NFL.com:
Enticing edge defender whose game is fueled by traits and power over skill and instincts at this juncture of his career. Thibodeaux is hardly a finished product, but has pro-ready attributes that should help him acclimate quickly. He’s a plus run defender who punches above his weight at the point of attack with heavy hands and a sturdy base. He has some suddenness in tight quarters and above-average pursuit speed, which should keep the tackles for loss rolling in throughout his career. Thibodeaux rushes with effort, upfield burst and play-through power that should bring reasonable sack/pressure production. However, he needs to add some go-to moves and more skilled hands to his bag if he is to affect the quarterback more frequently and reach his lofty potential as a standout, two-way edge defender.
The Giants are hoping that bringing Thibodeaux under the bright lights of New York City will help the star pass-rusher actualize that potential.
Evan Neal is The Exact Opposite of Thibodeaux
Two picks after the selection of Thibodeaux, the Giants took offensive tackle Evan Neal out of Alabama seventh overall.
Neal was at the same pre-draft event as Thibodeaux, but his personality might be the polar opposite.
The Giants should make these two roommates at training camp and turn it into a reality TV show.