Ducks

Kayvon Thibodeaux named the No. 1 2022 NFL Draft prospect by former NFL executive

Ducks

It's looking more and more likely the Oregon Ducks could have three consecutive top-ten NFL Draft picks in Justin Herbert (2020), Penei Sewell (2021), and next year, Kayvon Thibodeaux (2022).

In fact, Thibodeaux could go as high as first overall, at least former Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel, Gil Brandt, believes so.

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Monday morning, the former NFL executive turned NFL.com analyst tweeted he has Thibodeaux as his top-rated prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft class.

Thibodeaux finished his freshman season looking like one of the nation's best players, with an NCAA-leading seven fourth-quarter sacks, to the point he was mocked as the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by numerous sites. 

His sophomore season did little to hurt his stock, thanks to a Pac-12 Championship performance where he had a sack, 2.0 tackles-for-loss, a pass breakup, and 12 quarterback pressures while going up against soon-to-be first-round tackle, Alijah Vera-Tucker.

Now, he enters his third season on campus changing positions to outside linebacker in Tim DeRuyter's scheme. The specific position he'll play is called the Joker, the same role DeRuyter coached Von Miller in at Texas A&M leading the Aggie to be the second overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

 

[RELATED]: Tim DeRuyter compares Kayvon Thibodeaux's explosiveness to Von Miller 

"[Thibodeaux] is probably the first person that I've seen in a while who has that explosiveness off the edge like Von [Miller]," said DeRuyter in his introductory press conference in February. 

In Miller's senior season playing in DeRuyter's 3-4 scheme, he posted 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss, despite being held back by an ankle sprain for six games, and won the Butkus Award which is given to the nation's most outstanding linebacker.

With Thibodeaux stepping into the same role, he has his eyes set on an even higher honor than the Butkus.

"One of my goals is to win the Heisman," he told media earlier this month.

[RELATED]: Kayvon Thibodeaux eyes Heisman, to play more OLB for Ducks

Could a Heisman and top overall pick be on the horizon? Perhaps, but KT has the talent and drive to do it.