NFL Upstarts: Number 5 Draft Pick – Kayvon Thibodeaux

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There’s no denying that the National Football League (NFL) features some of the world’s greatest and most talented athletes. With new players entering and completely shifting the running of the league, it’s no surprise that NFL odds are constantly shifting.

As talented as many of the rookie NFL players are, there’s one upstart that truly stands out: New York Giants outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Thibodeaux was the number-one college prospect heading into the 2021 season. Since being drafted to the league, he’s proven exactly why he received this reputation.

And, with the determination and skills of Thibodeaux on their side, the Giants’ defense has seen a huge upgrade this season. Here’s a little bit more about this talented player.

Key Strengths

Outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux is 6’5” and 258 pounds. Despite his stature, he plays a high-effort game with plenty of balance.

Thibodeaux was considered the nation’s top recruit when he committed to playing at Oregon. This came after winning the title of High School Football Defensive Player of the Year during his 2018 senior season at Oaks Christian School.

Since that point, his ability has simply leaped off the field!

Fortunately, Thibodeaux has all the essential tools that a quality linebacker could want: agility, speed, intense power, technique, and a high football IQ. This has seen him through lots of career success so far.

In terms of his on-field performance, nobody can deny his moldable talent. He is still a bit raw with his hands, and his hand technique has room to grow, yet the upside is indescribable. He has a punch that can stun and successfully set up secondary moves.

In addition to his well-rounded skills, Kayvon Thibodeaux is a straightforward player who is never scared to speak his mind in a situation. Although this can sometimes come across the wrong way, it’s all part of his charm both on and off the field.

College Football

Thibodeaux played college football for the Oregon Ducks, the football team that can be found at the University of Oregon. He saw lots of recognition for his playing abilities and could easily take over games at a collegiate level.

The young defender had impressive total college stars including 126 tackles (84 of these were achieved solo), 35.5 tackles for a loss, 19 sacks, and also three forced fumbles in the 30 games that he played.


In 2019, he was named the Defensive Freshman of the Year for the Pac-12 conference. Then, as a sophomore, Thibodeaux was awarded the Morris Trophy on defense.

He is a two-time member of the First-Team All-Pac-12 (2020-2021) and also won MVP honors in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game in 2020. Thibodeaux had to miss the first few games of his junior season due to a sprained ankle but quickly bounced back to full health.

In 2021, he also recorded seven sacks and was unanimously voted to join the 2021 College Football All-America Team.

Thibodeaux chose to forgo his senior year at Oregon to enter the NFL draft and hasn’t looked back since!

Professional Career: New York Giants

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected the University of Oregon star player as the no. 5 overall pick. Before being drafted, he garnered some serious consideration to be drafted with the top pick before falling at the last hurdle.

Thibodeaux has a hearty combination of speed, size, and levels of production that bodes very well for the remainder of his NFL career. And, although the talented player might be a rookie on the field, he is expected to continue bringing legendary defensive end skills and extreme intensity to every game.

A lot of new prospects rely solely on their size to make their way up through the draft boards. While Thibodeaux can use size to his advantage, he’s a very impressive athlete that has demonstrated that he can win on the edge purely with his skills.

Career Predictions

Following on from a great performance in high school and college, there were a lot of high expectations closely tailing the outside linebacker in terms of his performance. Fortunately, Thibodeaux’s explosive entrance into the NFL saw him exceed these expectations.

Kayvon Thibodeaux has been slated as one of the Giants’ most interesting players to watch throughout the 2022-23 season. So far, since making his debut earlier this season, he’s living up to this title. We hope that he can maintain this momentum for the remainder of the season.

With the experience and blitz-heavy strategy of the Giants’ new defensive coordinator, Don “Wink” Martindale, Thibodeaux’s versatility as an athlete will likely land him in a prime position for Defensive Rookie of the Year. However, this is yet to be seen.


Kayvon Thibodeaux possesses the skills that a quality football player needs to succeed: speed, strength, and incredible athleticism. He is also unapologetically himself and not afraid to speak out when the time is right which is a very admirable trait.

If the talented player continues wielding his skill set in every game with the Giants, he’s likely to see an incredibly successful career in the NFL.