The Giants had their choice of offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu, Charles Cross, Evan Neal and Thibodeaux. Sauce Gardner went No. 4 to the New York Jets.
In his draft guide, Dane Brugler of The Athletic said:
Although he needs to continue filling out his frame, Thibodeaux is physical vs. the run and rushes with upfield urgency and cornering skills to skirt blockers. His go-to move is a powerful jab step that helps open up his options, but he is still learning how to efficiently patch together his rush moves. Overall, Thibodeaux isn’t a fluid mover, and his impact runs hot-and-cold, but he understands how to create leverage as a pass rusher with his length, flexibility and hand strength. He draws comparisons to Jadeveon Clowney with NFL teams and has the talent to develop into a high-end starter if he stays committed.
In his Thibodeaux prospect profile, BBV’s Chris Pflum wrote:
“Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux projects as a starting EDGE with scheme versatility at the NFL level.
“Thibodeaux should be able to line up as a 4-3 defensive end, an outside linebacker in a 3-4 front, or do a little bit of everything for a “multiple” defense. He’s a reliable and disciplined run defender and has the potential to be a dominant pass rusher from just about any alignment or stance.
“Thibodeaux would likely be at his best in an aggressive defense that will let him attack on every play, and make full use of his ability to move around the defensive front. Not only is Thibodeaux a dangerous pass rusher, but he can also help disguise exotic blitz packages by effectively dropping into coverage. He is capable of legitimately taking over games when he fully unleashes his explosive first step and uses that to set up the rest of his game – he can be almost unblockable in obvious passing situations.
“Thibodeaux appears to be a smart, savvy pass rusher, who already knows how to rush with a plan and play off of linemen’s expectations. That football IQ should allow him to pick up an NFL defense quickly and he should be able to produce quickly.”
Why he fits with the Giants
The last time the Giants drafted a pass rushing edge in Round 1 was when they selected Jason Pierre-Paul in Round 1. In recent years, the Giants’ anemic pass rush has annually been amongst the worst in the league.
Thibodeaux should join Leonard Williams and last year’s second-round pick, Azeez Ojulari, in changing that.
With cornerbacks Derek Stingley Jr. and Sauce Gardner off the board, and all three offensive tackles remaining, this pick made absolute sense.
Giants round-by-round draft selections
Round 1 (No. 5) — Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Round 1 (No. 7) —
Round 2 (No. 36) —
Round 3 (No. 67) —
Round 3 (No. 81) —
Round 4 (No. 112) —
Round 5 (No. 147) —
Round 5 (No. 173) —
Round 6 (No. 182) —
How to watch the rest of the draft
When: Rounds 2-3, Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET. Rounds 4-7, Saturday, April 30 at Noon ET.
TV: ESPN and NFL Network
SIRIUS: | XM: | SXM App: SiriusXM NFL Radio; and ESPN Radio
Streaming: The NFL draft can be streamed online at ABC.com, ESPN.com and NFL.com or via the ABC, ESPN and NFL apps.
Odds: DraftKings Sportsbook
Other BBV platforms
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