Less than four weeks before the draft, all 32 NFL teams were in Eugene at Oregon’s pro day.
While Anthony Brown, Jordan Happle and others participated in drills Friday afternoon, there was one player everyone wanted to see: defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Throughout the pre-draft process, Thibodeaux has had his on-the-field play and effort criticized by a few analysts. Some have even questioned Thibodeaux’s love for football.
But what is the most ridiculous thing someone has said about Thibodeaux during the pre-draft process?
“The most ridiculous thing I’ve heard is that I’m not the best player in this draft,” Thibodeaux told reporters. “I really don’t listen to anything else, but that to me, that’s outrageous.
“With the film, with the numbers and what I can do as far as my ability, I have confidence in what I can do.”
Kayvon Thibodeaux says it’s ridiculous to say he’s not the best player in the 2022 NFL draft.
When Thibodeaux first announced his intentions of entering the 2022 NFL Draft, many thought he could potentially be the first player selected. But despite his 126 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss and 19 sacks in three seasons at Oregon, he has dropped in many mock drafts.
It certainly didn’t help that Thibodeaux withdrew early from the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine after an official time of 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash, good for seventh-best of the 20 defensive ends who participated in the event.
Despite this, Thibodeaux is still the wild card of the draft. He could go as high as No. 2 to the Detroit Lions, whose general manager (Brad Holmes) attended Oregon’s pro day — or he could fall out of the top 10 altogether.
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The pro day drills gave Thibodeaux one last chance to make a great impression in front of scouts, coaches and general managers. While he didn’t run the 40-yard dash again, Thibodeaux did take part in individual drills and recorded a broad jump of 9 feet, 11 inches.
Thibodeaux had one message for critics who have questions about his motor and effort entering the draft.
“It is easy to see a snippet of something because that’s what media does,” Thibodeaux said. “They cut stuff up and frame it how they want to.
“Just watch the whole tape, you will be able to see.”
Contact Register-Guard sportswriter Antwan Staley at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Kayvon Thibodeaux says he’s the best player in the 2022 NFL draft