Peter King: Kayvon Thibodeaux Interests Lions Ahead of 2022 NFL Draft

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 4, 2022

Oregon edge Kayvon Thibodeaux participates in a drill during Oregon's NFL Pro Day, Friday, April 1, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)
AP Photo/Andy Nelson

Though Kayvon Thibodeaux has been a divisive player in the 2022 NFL draft, he could still go off the board early.

According to Peter King of NBC Sports, the Detroit Lions like the elite pass-rusher and could select him with the No. 2 pick of the draft.

King had Thibodeaux dropping all the way to 10th in his own mock draft, although noted that it was a close call at second overall between the Oregon star and his eventual choice, Travon Walker. 

Thibodeaux was dominant at times during his three-year college career, totaling 19 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss across 30 games. 

"The most ridiculous thing I've heard is that I'm not the best player in this draft," Thibodeaux told reporters at his pro day. "I really don't listen to anything else, but that to me, that's outrageous. 

"With the film, with the numbers and what I can do as far as my ability, I have confidence in what I can do." 

Bleacher Report's Scouting Department lists the 6'4", 254-pound athlete as the No. 1 overall player in the class. 

There have still been questions about his effort, with ESPN's Todd McShay reporting in February that he heard "concerns that he just doesn't play with the same fire as some other top prospects."

The Lions have pressure to hit on the pick after going 3-13-1 last season, with a defense that ranked 31st in points allowed. It will be Detroit's fourth straight year drafting in the top 10. The team has gotten mixed results with tight end T.J. Hockenson, cornerback Jeff Okudah and offensive tackle Penei Sewell. 

Detroit general manager Brad Holmes also said last week the Lions were open to trading down from No. 2 and they "had dialogue with a couple of teams."