Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
12 months ago, no one would have believed you if you told them Kayvon Thibodeaux would be available at pick five. Now, you will have a hard time getting anyone to believe that he’s going before pick five. Rumors of a lousy work ethic and a “me” mentality are the driving points behind an expected fall down the board. I can’t speak to these issues, because I don’t know Kayvon Thibodeaux personally. All I can base my evaluation off of is what I can prove with my eyes and the numbers.
Strictly on paper, Thibodeaux remains as the top pass rusher available on my board. Aidan Hutchinson is a little more well-rounded, and Travon Walker may have the highest upside, but nobody blends the two better than Thibs. He faced frequent double teams, and still found a way to bring down the quarterback seven times in his final season at Oregon. Thibodeaux is a prototypical edge rusher with high-end traits that include elite athleticism, explosiveness, and a proficient catalog of pass rush moves at his disposal. Adding him to the talent already present on the defensive line will give the New York Giants one of the most fearsome fronts in the league.
Travon Walker, DL, Georgia
I touched on Walker’s sky high upside a moment ago, and I’ll echo that sentiment again here. After being overshadowed by his fellow Georgia teammates for a majority of the season, Walker finally got his time to shine during the NFL Scouting Combine. The 4.5 speed that he possesses in his 272 pound frame is unheard of, and gives reason to believe that he can be a constant threat off of the edge.
I like the idea of Walker moving all over the line, similar to that of Aaron Donald and Myles Garrett. He may not be as refined as those two were coming into the league, but he is every bit the athlete that they are. Walker isn’t as likely to make an impact day-one, but five years from now it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s the consensus best player in this class. Reuniting Walker with his former Bulldog teammate — Azeez Ojulari — would be such a tantalizing pairing.