FLORHAM PARK N.J. — TheThey haven't used an edge rusher as a first-round pick since Vernon Gholston in 2008. Now they could draft the player that was only months ago the presumptive number one. 1 overall pick.
This was the story of a player who rose to prominence on college campuses as a freshman.
Defensive end who talks fast and plays fast. This should be a quality that will make him popular in New York.
Are the football gods set to reward the Jets?? If they do, will they draft him? This is the most intriguing question surrounding the team as they prepare for the April 28 NFL Draft (on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN App).
One of the most polarizing prospects is this former Oregon star. He has a strong personality and a motor which runs hot and cold. This could lead to him falling out of the top 5. Are the concerns real or is he being manipulated by pre-draft analysis?
The Jets could have to make that call with the fourth or 10th picks. It's a big decision for Joe Douglas, the general manager. If he doesn’t take Thibodeaux, he will be criticised and watch him become the second Michael Strahan.(Nos. 5 and 7 picks.
“If we had the Fearsome Foursome, we’d still be wanting to add a pass-rusher,” said Jets coach Robert Saleh, whose 25th-ranked pass rush was anything but fearsome last season. “It’s always going to help. If the opportunity is there, we’ll get it, but we’re not going to force it, either.”
Thibodeaux's measurements are so impressive that scouts will drool. Thibodeaux stands 6-foot-4 and is 254-pounds with a 4.58 speed in the 40 yard dash and a quick get off (1.56 seconds in his 10 yard split). He had 19 sacks and 35.5 losses in 32 college football games. Unlike Michigan'sGeorgia's Thibodeaux did not have an NFL-bound teammate to relieve the pressure.
Thibodeaux isn’t a natural bender. Scouts and talent evaluators have said that Thibodeaux has ankle stiffness and “doesn’t really have any pass rush moves at all,” Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN draft analyst, stated. Thibodeaux was known for his speed and strength in college to dominate inferior opponents. But he won’t be able that to do the same in the NFL. His weight is another question. He is 254 pounds and could be used by the Jets as a wide-9 rusher.
Daniel Jeremiah, an NFL Network analyst said Thibodeaux lacks consistency like Hutchinson. Thibodeaux added that “there are times when the effort kinda comes and goes. a bit.” This should be a concern. Although no prospect is perfect; however, it's important to put your best effort into any player you invest $30 million.
Thibodeaux visited the Jets' facility last week, and they have been meticulous about adding character to their locker rooms. Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich met Thibodeaux in Eugene, Oregon. Thibodeaux is a good example of a player who values a well-trained coaching staff.
“There are many questions about his up-and-down tape, consistency, but he certainly possesses the physical tools — and the traits –to be a top-5 selection,” ESPN analyst Todd McShay stated.
Thibodeaux was open to criticism for his words and conduct. When he picked Oregon over Alabama as a five-star recruit out of Los Angeles, he explained, “Do I want to be a guy who’s known as a national-championship winner or do I want to be a guy who’s known for being a part of the greatest organization in the world?” He was referring to Nike, who has close ties with the Oregon program. It raised eyebrows.
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Thibodeaux, a scouting leader, reportedly turned off other teams by referring to outside interests during interviews at the Scouting Combine.. He also owns his own cryptocurrency currency. The NFL doesn't like rookies with too many endorsements because they can be distracted from non-football matters.
Thibodeaux is ultra-confident. Thibodeaux was asked by a reporter what the most absurd thing he heard during the pre-draft process. He said, “The most ridiculous thing that I've heard is that you're not the best draft player.” I don't really listen to anyone else, but to me that's absurd.
The truth is that the Jets could do with a more defensive-minded attitude and a strong personality to get the troops excited. Thibodeaux's story is similar to Keyshawn Johnson's in 1996, when he was selected first overall by Jets. A star with a lot of bravado, Johnson was an LA native. He was not the right style for everyone but he tried hard and wanted victory.
People want to find out if he enjoys the game. What is his relationship to the game? That’s the debate with Kayvon,” Kiper said. “I think he’s going to be motivated coming in because people are criticizing him now a little bit, and he never had to deal with that coming out of high school or during his career. He was always regarded as the No. 1 player. But he isn't. He'll be motivated and have something to prove, I believe.”
The Jets might have their choice of two edge rushers in round one. Let's say Hutchinson is gone by the fourth pick. Walker could be gone as well, but that is not a guarantee. Thibodeaux andFlorida State) is almost certain to be available.
Walker is a bit shy about production, with only 9.5 career sacks. However, he has the most athletic measurables and size among edge rushers. He is a notch ahead Thibodeaux, Johnson and Thibodeaux. Johnson and Thibodeaux are similar in terms of athletic testing. But Johnson (6-5 and 254 pounds) has a larger frame and longer arms. Johnson's only problem is that he was a one year wonder (12 sacks in 211) during his three-year college career.
This could be a major franchise-altering move for the Jets who haven’t had a double-digit bag artist since Muhammad Wilkerson 2015.
Kiper stated that Thibodeaux can be as powerful as he desires to be with him.