Kayvon Thibodeaux Says NFL Team Drafting Him Is Getting 'Best Player' on the Board

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 26, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 04: Kayvon Thibodeaux #DL45 of the Oregon Ducks speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 4, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Oregon pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux may not be the No. 1 overall pick during Thursday's NFL draft, but he believes whichever team takes him will not regret its decision.

"The best player off the board," he said during an interview with NFL Network when asked what the team that drafts him will be getting.

NFL Total Access @NFLTotalAccess

"The best player off the board" <br><br>- <a href="https://twitter.com/kayvont?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kayvont</a> on what a team will get when they draft him <a href="https://t.co/ydVupyd2XH">pic.twitter.com/ydVupyd2XH</a>

There was a time when Thibodeaux was widely considered to be a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick.

However, that is no longer the case, with B/R's NFL Scouting Department projecting him to go No. 5 overall in its mock draft on April 1. 

ESPN's Todd McShay also reported there have been some concerns about Thibodeaux leading up to the draft (h/t Aron Yohannes of The Oregonian):

"I heard a lot about Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, including concerns that he just doesn't play with the same fire as some other top prospects. His ceiling is high, but the floor is lower than what you want for a top-five pick. And based on a handful of conversations, it wouldn’t shock me if Thibodeaux fell out of the top five. Speaking of which, it was very apparent this week that the top of the draft isn’t nearly as set as it normally is at this point. Picks at the top of the first round might be a little more based on team flavor than recent years."

The criticism didn't seem to shake the pass-rusher's belief in himself:        

Kayvon Thibodeaux @kayvont

Believe in yourself, even if you’re the only one💯🤷🏽‍♂️ <a href="https://t.co/YpFZarHgNQ">https://t.co/YpFZarHgNQ</a>

Tuesday's interview is further indication that Thibodeaux believes he will be an impact player regardless of any potential criticism. The ceiling is certainly there, and the B/R NFL Scouting Department listed him as the top overall player on its April 8 big board even if he isn't expected to be the No. 1 pick.

Thibodeaux finished the 2021 season with 35 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles in 10 games.