Ducks

Kayvon Thibodeaux named No. 1 player in 2022 NFL Draft by Mel Kiper Jr. & Todd McShay

Ducks

The Oregon Ducks program has had a player taken inside the top 10 for the last two NFL Drafts and that streak will not end anytime soon.

While the 2022 NFL Draft is nearly a year away, it appears all but certain edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux will be selected within the top 10. But perhaps, he can go as high as first overall.

ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. released his way-too-early NFL Mock Draft this week and it had Thibodeaux projected to go first overall to the Houston Texans.

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"At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Thibodeaux is an extraordinary pass-rusher off the edge," wrote Kiper Jr. "Over 21 career games, he has 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss, and the 2019 No. 1 recruit generated pressure on 13.5% of his pass-rush snaps over the past two seasons, the 18th-best rate in the country. Following J.J. Watt's exit, the Texans could use a player with Thibodeaux's high-end traits to jump-start their defense in their rebuild."

Later, Mel Kiper Jr. compared him to Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, both former No. 1 overall picks.

Following Kiper Jr.'s lead, Todd McShay also ranked Thibodeaux as the top selection in next year's draft in his way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

"At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Thibodeaux is an extraordinary pass-rusher off the edge," he wrote. "Over 21 career games, he has 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss, and the 2019 No. 1 recruit generated pressure on 13.5% of his pass-rush snaps over the past two seasons, the 18th-best rate in the country. Following J.J. Watt's exit, the Texans could use a player with Thibodeaux's high-end traits to jump-start their defense in their rebuild."

 

A decade ago, new Oregon defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter coached Von Miller from a three-star recruit to the second-overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Now, Thibodeaux will play that same position, titled the Joker, for DeRuyter this upcoming season.

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

However, Thibodeaux currently has his sights on being the top player in all of college football.

"One of my goals is to win the Heisman," he said during spring football.

Expect big numbers coming from the Ducks edge rusher this upcoming season.