If rookie season projections made by Pro Football Focus prove accurate, No. 5 overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux will be well worth the investment for the New York Giants.
PFF used what it calls its IQ formula, which is available to NFL teams, to come up with its projections.
Only Aidan Hutchinson, drafted No. 2 overall by the Detroit Lions, is projected to post better rookie numbers than Thibodeaux.
Here, in graphic form, is PFF’s pass-rush projection for Thibodeaux:
Leonard Williams led the Giants last season with 47 pressures in 561 pass-rushing snaps. Azeez Ojulari had 8.0 sacks in 435 pass-rushing snaps. Dexter Lawrence had the highest pass-rush win percentage on the Giants last season at 13.4.
Thibodeaux’s measurables, at least in the straight-line drills, lived up to the hype of a top-end edge rusher .
Thus, what we have here is an uber-productive college edge player with good-to-great athleticism. These are the ingredients for a very valuable edge player at the NFL level, especially at a cap hit of just under $5.7 million.
As a pass-rusher, Thibodeaux is projected to be the second-best player in this class, with a ceiling that approaches some of the best pass-rushers in the league.
PFF also projects Thibodeaux to be a solid run defender:
At rookie mini-camp over the weekend, Thibodeaux said “I lick my chops” when asked about playing in Martindale’s pressure-heavy scheme.
“It’s all about creating trust,” Thibodeaux said. “Once he trusts in me that I know the playbook, and that I’m going to be available every Sunday, that I can live up to those expectations, then I feel he’ll be able to cut whoever loose as long as they have that consistency and trust.”