Cowboys Rumors: Evaluating fit if Dallas trades up for Kayvon Thibodeaux
With the 2022 NFL Draft finally here, the Dallas Cowboys have found themselves in the headlines once again. This time, it may make Cowboys fans excited rather than worried.
According to Albert Breer of NFL Network and Dallas Morning News, America’s Team may be interested in trading up for star Oregon pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux if he starts to slide during the draft. While it was just briefly mentioned in his report, it is important to talk about the idea of this possibly happening.
People may be wondering why a player of Thibodeaux’s caliber could fall when he was in the race for the number one pick just a few months ago. The main reason for his concerns is his off-field issues. Ironically, the Cowboys actually have a history of selecting players with off-field issues, despite recent claims by Stephen Jones.
Teams are apparently unsure about Thibodeaux’s commitment to the game of football. According to ESPN’S Todd McShay, the Duck doesn’t seem to “play with the same kind of fire as some other top prospects”. There is also criticism from people affiliated with Oregon football and NFL scouts about his motor and quitting on plays easily.
The 21-year-old’s motor and headspace are causes for concern. However, his on-field traits are among the best at his position. Many scouts in the NFL like to compare him to Jadeveon Clowney, which is high praise considering his concerns. Athletically, the Oregon star is a top-5 prospect, but will the Cowboys take advantage of potential fall down draft boards? Let’s take a look at who he is, how he would fit, and what it will take to secure him.
Kayvon Thibodeaux Player Profile
The future first-round pick stands at 6-5, 250 pounds, and is one of the most explosive players in the draft. He has an outstanding first step and plays with great speed, bend, and strong hands. He is a great pass rusher, but possibly an even better run defender. He sets the edge very well and reacts pretty well, too.
In ten games last season, the DE finished with 49 tackles, 12 being for loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles, and one pass deflection. His production was on-and-off throughout the season, dealing with a high ankle sprain throughout some of it. Regardless, he finished the season as an All-American and ranked highly in many Pac-12 categories including TFL (No. 4), sacks (No. 2), and forced fumbles (No. 5).
Other than his off-field concerns, there’s not a lot to dislike when it comes to this pass rusher. His hand placement and usage could be better and he sometimes strays from fundamentals. He also experienced hot and cold games throughout the season, seemingly disappearing in some games.
The Oregon product could improve his technicality while rushing the passer. He tried to win based on his physicality alone, which granted did work sometimes, but that won’t pass against top tackles in the NFL. His only physical knock is his arm length which is an inch below the average NFL edge.