Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux Declares for NFL Draft; Reportedly Will Skip Alamo Bowl

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 7, 2021

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux gestures during an NCAA college football game against Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Seattle. Oregon won 26-16. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
AP Photo/Stephen Brashear

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux has declared for the 2022 NFL draft.

Kayvon Thibodeaux @kayvont

❤️🦆 <a href="https://t.co/47rDbaPhd0">pic.twitter.com/47rDbaPhd0</a>

Though Thibodeaux did not mention his status for Oregon's Alamo Bowl game against Oklahoma, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the star defender will not participate in the contest.

The 20-year-old amassed 49 total tackles, seven sacks and two forced fumbles in 10 games for the Ducks in 2021. He earned those numbers despite missing two-plus games with a left ankle sprain and playing limited reps upon his return against Arizona on Sept. 25.

Many analysts consider the 6'5", 258-pound Thibodeaux to be the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2022.

The B/R NFL Scouting Department ranked him as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2022 NFL draft. He received a grade of 9.4 out of 10. Only three other players received grades of 9.0 or higher, and no others above 9.1. Derrik Klassen, also of Football Outsiders and Oddschecker, ranked Thibodeaux as the best speed rusher in the draft.

The NFL Mock Draft Database also lists Thibodeaux as the No. 1 overall prospect on its consensus big board.

The South Los Angeles, California native was at his best in a 34-31 win against UCLA on Oct. 23, when he amassed nine tackles (eight solo, 4.5 for a loss) and two sacks.

He can single-handedly change a game on a dime at his best, such as when he forced this sack and fumble that eventually led to a touchdown in a season-opening 31-24 win over Fresno State on Sept. 4:

Oregon Football @oregonfootball

Kayvon. Thibodeaux.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoDucks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoDucks</a> | @kayvonT8 <a href="https://t.co/hfyvccVmm8">pic.twitter.com/hfyvccVmm8</a>

Now he'll likely do the same for another team on Sundays.

This year's NFL draft will take place April 28-30 in Las Vegas.

Based on early projections, Thibodeaux's wait to hear his name called may not be more than the 10 minutes on the draft clock after the team holding the No. 1 overall pick opens the proceedings.