Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux—the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft—will be ready to roll when New York Giants training camp opens for rookies on July 19.
Appearing Monday on NFL Network (h/t NFL.com's Brooke Cersosimo), Thibodeaux cleared up any concerns about his health, saying: "I'm fully healthy, I'm doing fine. I'm back training, and I'll be ready to go for training camp."
Dan Duggan of The Athletic reported last week that Thibodeaux had been dealing with a "tweaked hip" during the spring but was expected to receive the all-clear for training camp.
Thibodeaux was considered a strong candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft as soon as he stepped on campus at the University of Oregon in 2019.
He did what everyone expected as a freshman, recording 35 tackles, nine sacks and 14 tackles for loss, but he never quite reached that level of production again during his collegiate career.
Thibodeaux was limited to just seven games the following year because of the Pac-12's late start amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and he ended up with three sacks.
He was expected to bounce back in a big way last season, but Thibodeaux's overall production left something to be desired with 49 tackles, seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss in 10 contests.
The lack of elite numbers caused Thibodeaux to drop slightly in the draft, but he was still the fifth player taken overall and the third edge-rusher off the board behind Georgia's Travon Walker and Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson.
Thibodeaux, 21, fills a huge need for the Giants, as they tied for 22nd in the NFL last season with 34 sacks and ranked in the middle of the pack against the pass in most other categories.
New York is returning its top two sack getters from last season in Azeez Ojulari (eight) and Leonard Williams (6.5), but Thibodeaux gives the G-Men a potentially dominant force who opposing offenses will have to account for at all times.
The Giants have a long way to go, as they are coming off a 4-13 season and have missed the playoffs in each of the past five years, but they are starting to build an impressive stable of young talent, and Thibodeaux is at the top of the list.
If Thibodeaux can stay healthy and progress as quickly as hoped throughout training camp and the preseason, he has as good a chance as anyone to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2022.