2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kayvon Thibodeaux

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kayvon Thibodeaux

by February 3, 2022 5 comments

The Oregon Ducks had a successful season in 2021 but collapsed a bit near the end with losses in the PAC-12 Championship and the Alamo Bowl. Regardless, Kayvon Thibodeaux was impressive and has been since early on. Coming to Oregon, he was ranked second in the country and has lived up to expectations. Thibodeaux is the first Oregon defensive lineman since 2015 to receive All-American honors and lead the team in sacks and tackles for loss in back-to-back years. In a stacked edge class, the Oregon product could be taken first overall. 

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Kayvon Thibodeaux
Jersey: No. 5
Position: EDGE Rusher
School: Oregon
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 258 lbs

Games Watched: California (2021), UCLA (2021), Washington (2021)

Major Injury History: None

Player Breakdown

Pass Rush Ability (15/15)

Thibodeaux is a monster pass rusher. He uses all of his strengths as an advantage to pressure or sack the quarterback. Thibodeaux has terrific athleticism and bend, which allows him to move past tackles with ease. He is explosive off the edge and uses a spin or power’s through his opponents if his athleticism alone does not achieve success. The only concern is his balance, but it is not much of an issue because of his other elite traits.

Explosiveness (10/10)

When it comes to explosiveness, there are no questions with Thibodeaux. He is fast and powerful when coming off of the edge, drawing comparisons to the likes of Von Miller. Thibodeaux’s explosiveness combined with other aspects of his game allows him to rush the quarterback better than many others.

First Step (9.75/10)

Thibodeaux’s first step goes hand and hand with his explosiveness. His athleticism allows him to get off the line quickly then go around or power through the tackle. Thibodeaux’s first step allows him to reach his opponents quickly and use force before they can react well enough. He uses strength once he reaches the opponent or bends past to make a play.

Bend (10/10)

One area that separates Thibodeaux from top edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson is his bend. He is incredibly flexible, which allows him to maximize his athletic ability. Since Thibodeaux is fast, he can run around tackles and dodge their hands by bending under and ripping them away. His momentum carries him towards the quarterback, where he can capitalize and make a play.

Hand Usage (7.5/10)

Thibodeaux is good at using his hands but could expand his repertoire. His most common move is a two-handed swipe which helps him off the edge to get past tackles. Thibodeaux also uses a club or swim move occasionally, but his lack of consistency with them limits him. He has improved his hand usage since his freshman year, which is a good sign, but he can still improve. Thibodeaux’s consistency with his hand usage will be important in becoming elite at the next level.

Motor (10/10)

Thibodeaux’s motor allows him to use his athleticism to its full potential. He rarely puts out a lousy effort and is always making athletic plays. Thibodeaux has good power and speed, but without his motor, he would not be capable of consistently producing. His rare blend of speed, power, and flexibility is maximized because of his elite motor.

Tackling (8.5/10)

Thibodeaux is a good tackler. His excellent athleticism and motor allow him to not be passed easily. Thibodeaux’s flexibility also helps for wrapping up and completing the play. Most of the time, Thibodeaux is successful when trying to tackle. In the run game, he understands when to lunge, which allows him to shut down plays for a loss. He had the fifth-most tackles for loss among Power-Five players since the 2019 season.

Strength at LOS (10/10)

At the line of scrimmage, Thibodeaux is powerful. He gets a solid jump off the line then his power and speed do the work. Thibodeaux can catch offensive linemen off guard and get to the quarterback easily as a result. Since he is fast and strong, opposing offensive linemen have to be cautious of multiple pass-rush moves and be ready for just about anything.

Run Defense (9.5/10)

In the area of run defense, there are not many question marks with Thibodeaux. He follows the ball well and tracks down the running back consistently. Thibodeaux understands when to lunge toward the opposing running back, and his athletic tools help make the play. One of his biggest strengths is making tackles for loss, and his capability in run defense is a major reason for it.

Versatility (5/5)

Thibodeaux is versatile in multiple regards. On the defensive line, he can play in all four spots making him a tough assignment for opposing defenses. However, Thibodeaux is better off the edge because of his speed. Thibodeaux has also proven he can step back and drop into coverage and found plenty of success at Oregon doing so.

Rookie Projections: Defensive Rookie of the Year Contender

Third Year Projections: Pro Bowl Defensive End

Final Grade (95.25/100): Top-10

Player Comp: Von Miller 


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Kamran Nia is a journalist from Los Angeles, California.

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