A defensive end/edge rusher wasn’t selected in the 2021 NFL Draft until the Arizona Cardinals drafted Zaven Collins with the 16th overall pick. That won’t be the case in 2022 as several players at that position are projected to go inside the top 10, among them Kayvon Thibodeaux.
In NFL Draft odds, Thibodeaux’s over-under selection is 5.5, four below Aidan Hutchinson’s 1.5. For Thibodeaux, is the over or under the right side?
Kayvon Thibodeaux Draft Position
Thibodeaux is one of the most polarizing players in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Long expected to be a top selection in the 2022 class, some recent mock drafts have seen Thibodeux falling outside the top five and nearly outside the top 10 — an unthinkable position at any point in the last two years, until now. Of course, that’s not every mock draft and there’s still a possibility Thibodeux is gone well before the draft hits double digits.
As of April 3, 26 days before the draft, Thibodeux’s over-under draft position set at 5.5, with the over juiced to -175 and the under set to +135. Which side presents the most value?
Thibodeaux has dropped slightly in some mocks due to widely reported character and work ethic concerns. In 30 career games, he accumulated 35.5 tackles for loss and 19 sacks. Teams are also questioning whether he’s ready to be a full-time player after playing sparingly in Oregon’s 2021 season.
While those concerns may be valid, Thibodeux still possesses elite athleticism and pass-rushing ability. He was the No.2 ranked prospect nationally coming out of high school in Thousand Oaks, California, and immediately lived up to the hype with 14 tackles for loss as a true freshman.
He primarily won via his sheer athleticism and power, so he still possesses room for growth in his pass-rushing arsenal. This limit is sky-high and at worst he should be valuable bringing pressure off the edge if nothing else.
The recent news seems to have caused a bit of an overreaction in the NFL betting market, namely plus odds on under 5.5.
It’s difficult to envision teams letting him fall too far down the board. A case could be made that every single team picking within the top five of the draft — Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, New York Jets, New York Giants — all require a boost along the defensive front. He could realistically land with either of those five teams and isn’t pigeon-holed into one or two landing spots, increasing the chance of hitting the Under.
Thibodeux does offer positional flexibility considering that he played defensive end for his first two years in Eugene before switching to more of an outside linebacker role in 2021.
Depending on various reports, his role and position may or may not have technically changed, but he did spend more time standing up and also attempted to get coverage film on tape for NFL teams to prove his versatility — to mixed results. Either way, this added sprinkle of versatility is another small reason why it’s difficult to pin him into one specific landing spot in the top five, but all remain viable, although No. 1 overall is very unlikely.
With a lack of elite talent at the top of the draft, it’s difficult to imagine a player with unquestioned elite athleticism falling too far. Unless something drastically changes, there isn’t expected to be a load of quarterbacks selected within the top ten as tends to happen come draft day.
Kayvon Thibodeaux Prediction
The Pick: Under 5.5 (+135)
NFL Odds at BetMGM
The online sportsbook has you covered for NFL betting each year.
From offseason futures like Super Bowl odds, NFL MVP odds, or team win totals to in-season betting on spreads, moneylines, and prop bets, you can take your football entertainment to the next level at BetMGM.
Check out updated NFL odds today!