Getty Oregon edge runner Kayvon Thibodeaux on September 25, 2021.
The Detroit Lions have a lot of different options when it comes to the 2022 NFL draft, and most of them have been intriguing, but for the first time, it finally looks like there’s a win-win scenario for the team.
While names have changed a lot in recent months, things could be coming back for the Lions in terms of players who could be a good fit. Now, the situation may have changed enough that the Lions don’t lose in one situation at all.
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Specifically, if the Lions have to choose between a pair of elite pass-rushers like Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibododeaux, they’ll win no matter who’s left. That’s according to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com. Brooks recently went on the Move the Sticks podcast and discussed with Daniel Jeremiah a situation where the Lions get to choose between players.
“I think they can’t go wrong. When you look at this team, the first thing we learn as scouts and evaluators, you have to build this team to win the division. When you think about the division, the team you’re chasing is the Green Bay Packers, who have one of the best quarterbacks we’ve ever seen in Aaron Rodgers. What can you do to knock him out? The best thing he can do is have a pass rush that allows him to run four and lose seven in coverage,” Brooks said. “The only way the Lions can do that is to have an explosive athlete, a dynamic player on the edge. Whether it’s Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux. Anybody that’s left based on what the Jaguars do on one, they need to run on the card because that guy will give them a chance to take down the quarterback and that gives them a chance to close the gap on division rivals.”
Detroit’s defensive front collected just 30 sacks in 2021 and finding more consistency in the trenches should be a big team focus. With an elite pass-rusher, Detroit’s defense could leap forward in the future and do more things well on the field. To that end, Brooks is right that the Lions might have to prioritize one of those elite players early on.
One of the two is likely to be available, and if both were, the Lions would have an even bigger decision to make.
Sentiment that changes back to Thibodeaux during the process
When the pre-draft process began for the Lions, many thought the team would have a choice between Michigan running back Aidan Hutchinson or Oregon’s Thibodeaux. As many saw at the time, those players represented the top two in the entire class of 2022, and it wasn’t particularly close. However, as the process progressed, questions arose about Thibodeaux’s production and gameplay, causing the perspective to slip more than a little in the minds of many mock drafts. As a result, many did not select him in the top two, instead he slipped into the top five and beyond.
Since then, however, there seems to have been a sea change at Thibodeaux. The Lions have zeroed in on him with a major training delegation, as well as inviting him into town for a face-to-face meeting with team bosses. As a result, he looks like he could be in play for the Lions.
Thibodeaux Stats & Highlights
Thibodeaux is an interesting prospect considering his penchant for getting to quarterback and making big plays up front. Entering this season, Thibodeaux had amassed 90 career tackles of his own, 14 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss thus far in his college career. In 2021, he followed up with a decent year with 49 tackles, 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Here are some of his best works in the field:
PlayKayvon Thibodeaux 🔥 College Football’s Scariest Player ᴴᴰKayvon Thibodeaux Spotlights College Football to Boost NFL Draft2021-11-29T23:58:46Z
It’s obvious that Thibodeaux has the physical tools to be great, and as a result, many believe he could be on the cards for the Lions and should be the team’s pick when things work out. No matter who the pick is, whether it’s him or Hutchinson, many believe Detroit won’t lose.
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Analyst explains the situation in which the Lions must “run to the card” in the NFL draft – Home