Since the start of the 2021 college football season, Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux has been almost universally regarded as the top prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft. But in Todd McShay’s updated 2022 NFL draft rankings, Thibodeaux has fallen from that top spot all the way to No. 7.
To be fair, McShay had Thobodeaux ranked No. 2 in his 2022 NFL Draft rankings prior to Tuesday’s latest update. But Thibodeaux’s fall to the bottom half of the top 10 remains a surprise.
“Thibodeaux is a phenomenal pass-rusher with great speed and size,” McShay wrote. “He gets a good push on blockers, and he shows solid initial quickness and closing speed. Thibodeaux is effective at dipping and ripping, but he also displays a strong inside move. Against the run, he locates the ball then stacks and sheds blockers, often making plays in the backfield. And he is versatile enough to convert to 3-4 outside linebacker or even occasionally kick inside to rush the passer. He could use a little more work as a hands fighter, and I’d like to see him play with a little more fire. Thibodeaux finished the season with 7.0 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 46 pressures (tied for 11th in the nation) and two forced fumbles.”
Remember: just because McShay has Thibodeaux dropping a few spots doesn’t mean he’s out on him as a prospect. Being ranked as the seventh-best prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft is quite the compliment. There was some chatter in Mobile during Senior Bowl week that scouts have concerns about Thibodeaux’s passion for the game, but there’s little to no evidence on film to suggest he doesn’t have the desire to be great. It’s certainly worth monitoring as the weeks march on, but for now, there’s no reason to bail on Thibodeaux as a surefire top-10 pick.