The Giants are getting veteran contributions from star rookie pass rusher

kayvon thibodeaux, new york giants
Jan 1, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants rookie pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is ascending as one of the team’s most vocal leaders. Thibodeaux conducts himself as a veteran would, playing every snap through the whistle and vocally leading the Giants’ defense on the sidelines. The Giants are getting veteran contributions from their rookie pass-rusher, who is bursting onto the scene and establishing himself as a star.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is establishing himself as a leader on the Giants’ defense:

Kayvon Thibodeaux has quickly proven to have a high motor and a high football IQ. His All-Pro teammate, Dexter Lawrence, praised Thibodeaux for the rookie’s “football intelligence.”

“You gain respect with how you work and how you hustle. That’s how you show who you are, and the veterans will believe in a rookie real quick when they see that from you,” Lawrence said of Thibodeaux to Art Stapleton. “He’s shown that and then on top of that, he doesn’t just know the game, he’s really smart about it and that takes his play to another level.”

Kayvon Thibodeaux has earned the nickname “The Closer” from teammate and Giants defensive captain Xavier McKinney. Thibodeaux has shown up big for the Giants in multiple key late-game moments this season. When Big Blue needs a play late in the game, they turn toward Kayvon, “The Closer,” to make it happen.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is only getting started, and the rookie has high aspirations for his career. Thibodeaux looks up to Giants legends like Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Justin Tuck, and other defensive stars, aiming to have a career in New York that emulates what his predecessors accomplished. “The previous generations, you want them to feel like they passed the torch, and we’re capable of carrying that on,” Thibodeaux said to Art Stapleton.

In 14 games this season, Kayvon Thibodeaux totaled four sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes defended 49 combined tackles, and one touchdown. Kayvon has been a handful for opposing offensive tackles and has quickly established himself as one of the Giants’ most threatening defensive weapons. The future is bright in the Big Apple, but so is the present.

The Giants are preparing to face the one-seed Eagles in the Divisional Round of the playoffs this Saturday. Kayvon Thibodeaux recorded zero sacks and zero tackles in his first career matchup with the Eagles during the regular season. If ever there was a time for Kayvon “The Closer” Thibodeaux to step up and make a play for the Giants, the Divisional Round of the playoffs would be that time.