Oregon Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux announced he was declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft. Should the Detroit Lions select him first-overall?
The Oregon Ducks football fanbase has been through quite a lot in the past week. They lost to the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Championship Game last Friday, and head coach Mario Cristobal left to take the Miami Hurricanes job on Monday. Now, the news kept on coming on Monday night, but this was expected.
According to ESPN senior NFL insider Adam Schefter, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux has officially declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. With that, Thibodeaux will not participate in the Alamo Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners on Dec. 29.
Oregon DE @kayvont, regarded by many as a potential top-five pick, is declaring for the NFL draft, per sources. Thibodeaux also has decided to skip playing in the bowl game and start preparing for the NFL draft after his HC Mario Cristobal left Oregon for Miami.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 7, 2021
Now that Thibodeaux has declared, all eyes will be on the Detroit Lions, who hold the first-overall pick in the draft next April.
Should the Lions draft Kayvon Thibodeaux?
Thibodeaux has long been viewed as the top overall prospect in the entire 2022 draft class, and for good reason. He has the skillset to wreak havoc against the opposing offensive tackle and get to the quarterback.
This season, Thibodeaux logged 49 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass defensed in 10 games. Through his three seasons at Eugene, Thibodeaux recorded 126 total tackles (35.5 for loss), 19 sacks, seven passes defensed and three forced fumbles.
Even though Thibodeaux is viewed in high regard, there is the possibility that the Lions could always look elsewhere. In the lead up to the NFL Draft, there is always the possibility that some other prospects climb up Detroit’s big board.
Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson’s stock has risen as of late. He has the most sacks recorded in a single-season in program history with 14, and was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. That, and Hutchinson will play in as many as two more games this season, as Michigan clinched a spot in the College Football Playoff by way of winning the Big Ten championship. Hutchinson could be a player the Lions take a look at and consider taking over Thibodeaux.
But, we can not rule out the Lions looking for their quarterback of the future. Even though the class in 2022 is not as strong as it was in 2021, the Lions could become enamored for one of the quarterback prospects and seriously consider selecting them first-overall. It would create quite the shock if they did so, that’s for sure.
As is the case every year, we will wait and see how the big board is altered throughout the pre-draft process. Whoever holds the first overall pick, they will be linked to Thibodeaux.