Kayvon Thibodeaux is on track to be one of the top picks of the 2022 NFL Draft. Here are three good team fits for him in the NFL.
The 2020 NFL Draft featured one of the best EDGE prospects in the last decade with OSU’s Chase Young. The former Buckeye was a standout in Washington during his 2020 rookie season and has a bright future ahead of him. The 2021 NFL Draft did not feature one dynamic rusher in the class of Chase Young, but it was a deep group throughout. However, the 2022 NFL Draft has one prospect that will likely be a top-five selection and could even challenge for the top pick. That man is Oregon EDGE rusher, Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux was an absolute standout as a prep player and came to Eugene as the sixth-ranked player overall in the entire nation according to Rivals.com. He’s long, explosive, and has tremendous speed off the edge. At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Thibodeaux is a versatile player with the athleticism to stand up or rush from the defensive end spot.
He has amassed 12 sacks in two seasons for the Ducks and the best is yet to come in the 2021-2022 season. There are many teams that could use a player of his caliber, so take a look below at the top-3 fits for Thibodeaux’s talents at the next level.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
The most obvious name on this list is the Cincinnati Bengals. I recently mocked Thibodeaux to Cincinnati with the third overall pick of my inaugural 2022 NFL Mock Draft. The Bengals have gone offense-heavy with their last two first-rounders, selecting quarterback Joe Burrow in 2020 and his former LSU teammate, receiver Ja’Marr Chase in 2021. The Bengals would be wise to focus on defense in 2022, as the team has struggled in the pass rush department in recent years.
In October of 2020, Cincinnati traded long-time rusher, Carlos Dunlap, to Seattle, while 2020 sack leader Carl Lawson signed with the Jets in free agency. However, the team has taken concrete steps to rectify his loss this offseason. Cincinnati signed former Saints’ EDGE Trey Hendrickson and spent a 2021 NFL Draft third-round pick on Texas’ Joseph Ossai. Those two, combined with Sam Hubbard, should give this group some much-needed pass-rushing juice in the AFC North hunt of 2021.
Regardless of the success of the Bengals’ defensive in 2021, Thibodeaux would be a massive boost as the best rusher available in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has been an absolute star and completely unstoppable since arriving as a freshman in the Pac-12 in 2019. Thibodeaux has racked up 12 sacks the past two seasons and the best is yet to come. With his outstanding length, explosiveness, and quickness off the edge, Thibodeaux should be a nightmare for college QB’s again in 2021. He is a sure-fire top-5 pick, and the Bengals would be wise to pounce if he is available.