Kayvon Thibodeaux was a high end starter at defensive end for the Oregon Ducks, one who always seemed to rise to the occasion in the big moments. As a true freshman, Thibodeax led the team in sacks (9.0) and tackles for loss (14.0). Overall, Thibodeaux collected 19.0 career sacks in 31 games, which ranks him 7th in program history.
Thibodeaux was the first defensive lineman at Oregon since DeForest Buckner to earn All-American honors, and he was clutch for the Ducks in pressure situations. Possessing a good blend of size, speed and power, Thibodeax has the traits to be a dominant player at the next level.
Here’s my evaluation of Kayvon Thibodeaux and why the Falcons could possibly have him on their radar.
Player Height/Weight: 6’4” – 254 lbs
Games Watched: vs. USC(2020), vs. Cal(2021), Vs. Utah(2021)
- Highly explosive with elite first step quickness
- Plays with heavy hands and a firm base
- Effective rushing in a 2 or 3 point stance
- Amazing closer off the edge to finish the play
- Knows how to effectively use his length
- Shows an innate ability to convert speed to power with his pass rush
- Has the strength to set the edge vs. the run
- Has the quickness to shoot gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield
- Great shedding ability
- Shows great hustle during backside pursuit
- A high effort player that plays with an extreme intensity
- Shows some bend and has good lateral ability
- Good initial pass rush moves
- Needs to get better technique-wise with hand usage
- Arm length is good, but not great
- Needs to refine his counter moves as a pass rusher
- Slight concerns about durability
Thibodeaux is an elite athlete with great functional strength. The Atlanta Falcons have lots of needs, but EDGE has been at the top of that list for quite some time. Plus, having a player like Thibodeaux would do wonders for a defense that is looking solid on the back end with A.J. Terrell and the addition of Casey Hayward. Thibodeaux would be an immediate starter off the edge for this defense and shows relentless pursuit of the quarterback in pass rush situations. Apparently, some out there question his desire and effort, but it’s just something I didn’t see on film.
I don’t see many scenarios where Thibodeaux falls to 8th overall, but he if does, Terry Fontenot should race to the podium to make the pick for a player that has all the traits to become an elite pass rusher at the next level. The Falcons could really use one of those.