|♦Hometown:||South Central Los Angeles, California|
Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux is one of a kind…
There are not many players that carry the official position title Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux bears.
The first Organizational Chart of the 2021 season from the desk of Coach Cristobal.
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) August 30, 2021
As you can see above, Thibodeaux carries the ‘Joker‘ title. However, unlike most card games, the joker in football is one of the most influential positions in the sport. The Ducks’ defense is the spearhead to their success by doing unworldly acts from the defensive end and outside linebacker position. In his first two collegiate seasons, he amassed 23.5 tackles for loss and 12 total sacks in just 20 games.
Kayvon Thibodeaux is the kind of prospect that makes you want to cryogenically freeze yourself for two years. He’s not of this world. That’s an All-American Center he just beat…and he’s a 245-pound edge. pic.twitter.com/uM3lsK7ROq
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) January 1, 2020
The California native has many strengths, and all of them make him one of the best defenders in college football.
Thibodeaux almost does too many things well
Many are enamored with Thibodeaux’s ability to rush the passer with both his hand in the dirt and while standing up. However, while his speed rush is relentless, his effort and strength shine as a run defender.
Kayvon Thibodeaux is a lot better run defender than I anticipated for the hype he has as a pass rusher. pic.twitter.com/WDs1W8XuPE
— Ryan Roberts (@RiseNDraft) March 20, 2021
No matter the situation, the Ducks’ junior defender, ensures that he gives it his all consistently. No matter what game you watch of his, his effort and mental toughness are second to none. Nevertheless, while all these traits are fascinating and elite, an aspect of his game could improve.
Where can Thibodeaux improve, and what to expect from him this season?
There aren’t many weak points to Thibodeaux’s game. While he possesses the strength to be a quality run defender, the consistency is lacking at times. In addition, he’s such a fantastic athlete that he doesn’t often have to use his hands or a wide variety of moves to defeat blockers. Lastly, as an open-field tackler, there’s room for improvement as well.
My goodness. Kayvon Thibodeaux is a freak of nature. pic.twitter.com/do99CjtxYi
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) December 7, 2019
Those aren’t weaknesses per se; they are areas of which he can, and more than likely, will improve this season. The Oregon Ducks possess a nightmare chess piece that opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks alike lose sleep over the night before. If the Heisman Trophy were more realistically judged, he would have a legitimate opportunity to win it this year. Instead, he can solidify his draft stop as a top five pick in the 2022 NFL draft until that day.
*Top Photo: Mark Ylen/Mid-Valley Media