2022 Eagles Draft Profile: Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
One of the most talked-about names in the 2022 NFL Draft has been Oregon edge-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux.
For over a year, Thibodeaux was widely considered the consensus top pick in this year’s draft. During his last season at Oregon, he lived up to the hype but suddenly began to slip in mock drafts.
According to ESPN, it’s now expected that Thibodeaux will fall outside of the top five picks and could slip all the way to the Philadelphia Eagles at 15. This sudden shift is outrageous and is the most prominent example of draft fatigue I’ve ever seen.
Thibodeaux has consistently been the top guy, which means analysts have scrutinized him to no end, finding the tiniest faults and then blowing them out of proportion. ESPN’s concern with Kayvon is that he “doesn’t play with the same fire as some other top prospects.”
For reference, Thibodeaux recorded seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss over ten appearances during his last season at Oregon. At 6’5, 250 pounds, this man is a freak of nature, recording a 4.59 40-yard-dash and 27 bench press reps at the NFL Combine.
In pass-rush, there is no real weakness in Thiobdeaux’s game. He isn’t the fastest off the ball, but he makes up for it by being insanely strong. His first punch and elite handwork make it impossible for any lineman to be in control following the snap.
The only weaknesses are his injury history, and Thibodeaux isn’t the greatest against the run. He’s not horrible, but it could be a lot better with how strong he is against the pass. During last season, Thibodeaux missed some time with an ankle injury, and although it isn’t severe, it’s something teams have kept an eye on.
But those two knocks are so minor, and words don’t justify how insane Thibodeaux is coming off the edge on a passing play.
There is not a soul in football who can confidently say that Thibodeaux isn’t the best athlete in the 2022 draft. His character concerns are overblown. He has shown to be a great person despite insignificant claims about his attitude.
Look at Micah Parsons, a player who fell outside the top five solely due to off-the-field complaints and became one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL last season.
It’s no secret that the Eagles are still looking to upgrade their defensive line this offseason. David Ojabo appeared to be the consensus selection at 15 before he tore his Achilles, while Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis have been in close touch with the team.
Howie Roseman has shown he is willing to trade up for the right guy. If in some world Thibodeaux falls to the 10th pick, I don’t doubt for a second Roseman will trade up for him. Thibodeaux is a generational talent, and teams are overthinking it, which could work out in the Eagles’ favor.
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