Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
If the Giants are going to make the leap from laughingstock to legitimate NFL team, things are going to have to change. And by change, we are talking more than simply upsizing from the free medium sodas the team offered to fans in 2021. Bluntly, this team was putrid last season and underperformed in numerous areas, particularly on offense. And we are all delightfully familiar with the stat that the Giants are tied with the Jets for the worst record (22-59) in the NFL over the last five years (courtesy of statmuse.com). Let’s take a look at the 2021 numbers (courtesy of Football Outsiders):
N.Y. Giants 2021 Offensive DVOA:
30th in rush DVOA
31st in pass DVOA
32nd in total DVOA
N.Y. Giants 2021 Defensive DVOA:
32nd in rush DVOA
14th in pass DVOA
18th in total DVOA
The G-men began their reclamation project on the right foot this offseason by putting GM Dave Gettleman out to pasture. Head coach Joe Judge was similarly a total laughingstock; his departure is also addition by subtraction.
The Giants then made smart hires in new General Manager Joe Schoen, formerly the assistant GM in Buffalo, and first-time Head Coach Brian Daboll, the Bills offensive coordinator from 2018 to 2021. The latter was widely credited with developing Josh Allen into a stud. This new regime will have lots of work to do, as they attempt to rehabilitate a roster with craters everywhere.
It starts up front with the offensive line. This has been a glaring weak spot for the Giants for what seems like a decade. Giants’ leadership will no doubt look to lay down a rock-solid foundation to both protect Daniel Jones and rejuvenate the dilapidated run game. But in this mock scenario, the top two offensive line prospects, Alabama’s OT Evan Neal and NC State tackle Ikem Ekwonu, are off the board. The prediction here is that the NYG front office will consider Charles Cross in this spot, but ultimately look elsewhere.
While we cannot rule out a QB at number 7 overall, that would signal a complete re-boot. The word out of the Meadowlands is that the Giants brass will try building around current QB Daniel Jones and his supporting cast of Saquon Barkeley, Sterling Shephard, Kenny Galloday, Kadarius Toney and company before completely hitting the eject button on “Danny Dimes.”
Another option at #7 is Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, who many view as a transcendent defender and leader for years to come. Despite a concerning 40 time in the 4.7’s, Hamilton is a big-time playmaker who was successful against strong competition. However, in this mock the Giants will wring their hands and ultimately pass on the former “Domer” who some believe to be the best player in the draft.
Which brings us to the actual pick:
Oregon University Defensive End Kayvon Thibodeaux
4.58 40-yard dash
He’s big, he’s super fast, and he has swagger. Check out this quote:
“The most ridiculous thing I’ve heard is that I’m not the best player in this draft.”
Some highlights: be sure to watch the entire four minutes.
Some have questioned Kayvon Thibodeaux’s commitment to football and hustle on every down. He only did limited drills at the NFL Combine; this after skipping his team’s bowl game to prepare for the draft. Some say he is tumbling down draft boards. While this is a concern, just turn on the tape and those questions will be put to bed. This guy has power, quickness, and attitude reminiscent of a cross between Jerome Brown and Micah Parsons. That is high praise certainly, but Thibodeaux just goes out there like a junkyard dog and destroys people.
Thibodeaux has an impressive array of weapons in his arsenal to defeat offensive lineman, including a very powerful bull rush. Like a lion, if this cat gets his paws on you, it’s over. He also has incredible burst off the line, with a first step that is simply ridiculous. Thibodeaux’s short-area quickness is so legit, there are reps where he reaches the QB in two seconds or less. And imagine someone his size running a 4.58 at the combine!
Another skill that jumps out on tape is a nice slip move Thibodeaux utilizes to squeeze between the guard and the tackle, then create pressure upfield or blow up run plays. Out on the edge, Thibodeaux possesses elite bend traits to get around the corner on offensive tackles, then quickly locks his radar onto the QB. And once he has that quarterback in his sights, it’s lights out. Thibodeaux has a hunger for sacking quarterbacks and finishes his rushes with authority. He looks like an SEC defensive end trapped in the PAC-12!
This pick by the Giants is one that could hurt Eagles fans in the same way that JPP and Osi Umenyiora created nightmares for years. The Giants know very well that a money defensive line can win Super Bowls, which ultimately makes this pick quite logical for the new Big Blue regime.
Thanks to dear friend and (sadly) Big Blue View member danieldimes for his input.
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2022 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Jaguars (HellBentOnHurts): DE Aidan Hutchinson
2) Lions (Friendly Neighborhood Philly Fan): DE Travon Walker
3) Texans (herbalonius): OT Evan Neal
4) Jets (RideHighTide): OT Ikem Ekwonu
5) Giants (Brendanekstrom): CB Ahmad Gardner
6) Panthers (Philliesandthebees): QB Kenny Pickett
7) Giants (Dr.MidnightGreen): DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
8) Falcons (Philly21)
9) Seahawks (chewy wellington)
10) Jets (tfrank9811)
11) Commanders (Negadelphia Norm)
12) Vikings (Kephas)
13) Texans (Bdawk20rules)
14) Ravens (ablesser88)
15) Eagles (Fly Like An Eagle)
16) Saints (20Safety_Hazard)
17) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!)
18) Eagles (Phoenix X Minimus)
19) Saints (Georgia_eagle)
20) Steelers (EagleDomiNation)
21) Patriots (Domonate)
22) Packers (Leo Bedio)
23) Cardinals (big DUB)
24) Cowboys (joey2arms)
25) Bills (ItownBallers22)
26) Titans (BrianMcE03)
27) Buccaneers (4133Dave)
28) Packers (The Player Formerly Known as Mousecop)
29) Chiefs (GreenGrampa)
30) Chiefs (Legend of Nick Foles)
31) Bengals (Thedeuce9)
32) Lions (Dtechman44)
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think should be selected next in the 2022 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.
Who should the Giants draft at No. 7 overall?
This poll is closed
DE Travon Walker
CB Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner
S Kyle Hamilton
CB Derek Stingley Jr.
DE Jermaine Johnson
1) Jaguars: DE Aidan Hutchinson
2) Lions: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
3) Texans: OT Evan Neal
4) Jets: OT Ikem Ekwonu
5) Giants: OT Charles Cross
6) Panthers: QB Malik Willis