The New York Giants are taking a close look at the top talents in this year’s draft class this week at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. New York has a real chance of landing one of the draft’s best players possessing two top-ten selections in April. Kayvon Thibodeaux was once looked at as a potential first-overall pick in this year’s draft. However, his draft stock has slipped in recent weeks and it seems realistic that the Giants could land the Oregon pass-rusher with one of their two top-ten picks.
It seems like Kayvon Thibodeaux gave teams plenty of reasons to fall out of love with him at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. According to Cam Marino of PlayerProfiler.com, Thibodeaux “had a bad week at the combine” and is “definitely not getting high reviews from teams.”
Despite this, Thibodeaux gave some quotes during his public presser that should turn heads. KT is a student of the game and his perspective on pass-rushing should be enough for the Giants to fall in love with.
Kayvon Thibodeaux – pass-rushing is like chess
Kayvon Thibodeaux had a surprisingly wise and mature outlook on the sport of football, and even on life during his public press conference at the Combine.
“Chess is life and chess is football. You talk about doing your first move, and your first move is going to set up your second move, then your third move ahead,” he said. “When you talk about pass rush, I’m going to hit you with speed first. I always hit you with speed, speed, speed. That’s going to set up my power moves, and then my power moves are going to set up my counter.” – Kayvon Thibodeaux via TDN
This quote demonstrates a deeper understanding of pass-rushing from Kayvon Thibodeaux. Many young, rookie pass-rushers enter the league and expect to win with strength and athleticism. KT has the ability to win that way, but he recognizes that the real way NFL pass-rushers win is not through athleticism, but strategy.
The New York Giants have taken their chances on under-developed pass-rushers with top-tier athleticism in recent years. Lorenzo Carter had all of the speed in the world but lacked technical skills. While it is still early for Azeez Ojulari, he could afford to add some more pass-rushing moves to his skillset on top of his athleticism. Kayvon Thibodeaux will step in as a far-more polished product for the Giants.
The Oregon product stood out in his collegiate career, racking up 19.0 career sacks since 2019. Across 30 games, Thibodeaux also totaled 35.5 tackles for loss. KT has the talent and athleticism to be a truly game-breaking pass-rusher off the edge for the Giants. But will he fall into their laps at five or seven? Or will teams in the top three see past Kayvon’s potential “overconfidence” and bank on his pure pass-rushing talent?