If being an athletic specimen with every tangible trait needed to be a star pass rusher in the NFL wasn’t enough, New York Giants rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux also has the character to achieve that reality. However, he was questioned heavily during the pre-draft process about his mentality and desire to be successful at the next level.
The Giants took serious precautions to make sure the Thibodeaux would fit their cultural mold and not cause any distractions. Despite reports indicating that Thibodeaux would give up on plays and lose focus, the Giants had no hesitation drafting him 5th overall when he fell right into their laps.
After a few weeks of practice and training camp, the Giants are seeing why Thibs was once considered a lock for the No.1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Of course, that honor ended up going to Travon Walker out of Georgia, but there’s a very real possibility that Thibodeaux ends up having a more lucrative career.
New assistant defensive line coach Bryan Cox spoke highly of Thibodeaux and his work ethic, reaffirming the team’s confidence in his character.
“The guy works, he’s smart, guys gravitate towards him,” Cox said Tuesday, per the New York Post. “He’s showing great promise. … His personality is really good because he’s versatile, he can do a lot of different things, he can have a lot of different conversations. His play is going to speak for itself.”
The New York Giants have a healthy Kayvon Thibodeaux rolling into their first pre-season game:
After being rolled up on during OTA’s, Thibodaux has since recovered and displayed dominant play against Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal, the Giants’ other first-round pick.
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Seeing how lethal he can be off the edge in 1V1 battles should open up the defense entirely for Wink Martindale. Martindale is coming from a more established unit in Baltimore but is piecing together a few positions with unproven talent in New York. However, while Thibodaux has never taken a snap in an NFL game, the expectation is he will make an immediate impact paired with Azeez Ojulari, who’s entering his second season.
There will be rookie hiccups for Kayvon, naturally, but he has a mental fortitude to overcome any adversity. The main question is, if he hasn’t produced a sack or played well in a few games, how will he respond to the negative media attention? Will he become hostile or stay calm and focused. Based on the coaches opinions, he has the inner strength to stay in line and bounce back from tough outings.
After years of wayward personalities and failing mentality’s, the Giants seem to have a few strong minded individuals leading the pack. Kayvon might be a rookie, but he will quickly become a leader on this team with the production he displays on the football field.