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Meet the Prospect: Kayvon Thibodeaux

Name: Kayvon Thibodeaux

Position: Edge rusher

School: Oregon

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 254

40-yard dash: 4.58 seconds

Bench: 27 reps

Vertical: Did not jump

Broad: Did not jump

3-cone: Did not run

20-yard shuttle: Did not run

View photos of NFL prospect Kyle Hamilton.

How he fits: It's no secret the Lions need help along the edge on defense, even with the re-signing of Charles Harris and the expected return of Romeo Okwara from an Achilles injury suffered last season.

Thibodeaux has raw athletic traits that made him both a terrific pass rusher at Oregon, but also a player who could set the edge well in the run game. He doesn't have as many pro-ready pass-rush moves as Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson, but those will come with NFL coaching. He's definitely got a high ceiling.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes was at Thibodeaux's game against UCLA this past season where Thibodeaux had nine tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. The Lions are looking for a young pass rusher who can give them that kind of production off the edge.

Key observations: Thibodeaux is tied for seventh in Oregon program history with 19.0 career sacks in 31 games. His 34.5 tackles for loss are the fifth most among active Power 5 players since the start of 2019.

Thibodeaux showed up in the biggest moments for the Ducks. He had a combined 21 quarterback pressures, 13 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in three career Pac-12 Championship Games, and he was the first Oregon defensive lineman to earn All-America honors since DeForest Buckner in 2015.

What they had to say about him: "Enticing edge defender whose game is fueled by traits and power over skill and instincts at this juncture of his career. Thibodeaux is hardly a finished product, but has pro-ready attributes that should help him acclimate quickly," NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein said of Thibodeaux.

"He's a plus run defender who punches above his weight at the point of attack with heavy hands and a sturdy base. He has some suddenness in tight quarters and above-average pursuit speed, which should keep the tackles for loss rolling in throughout his career. Thibodeaux rushes with effort, upfield burst and play-through power that should bring reasonable sack/pressure production.

"However, he needs to add some go-to moves and more skilled hands to his bag if he is to affect the quarterback more frequently and reach his lofty potential as a standout, two-way edge defender.

Go behind the scenes with the Detroit Lions during 2022 free agency.

How he stacks up: When it comes to this year's class of edge defenders the consensus is that Hutchinson is the top prospect, with Thibodeaux coming in at No. 2. He's the second best edge rusher behind Hutchinson and the No. 7 overall prospect in NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 prospects.

CBS Sports lists Thibodeaux as the No. 2 prospect in this draft, one spot behind Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, and one spot ahead of Hutchinson. ESPN ranks him as the No. 7 overall prospect. He's No. 5 on ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board.

What he had to say: "Well, you know, I'd tell the coach there's nothing he can tell me that I don't already know, and that's because I'm honest with myself and I watch the tape," Thibodeaux said at the Combine of how he's trying to become a better rusher entering the NFL.

"If you're a student of the game, you know what you could get better at, and for me, I feel like sometimes I get stalemated, sometimes I can't have a second or third move, I can't continue my pass rush and really finish through. I feel like there were a couple sacks that were left out there because I got stuck on blocks, so just getting off blocks and creating that extra move to finish through."

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