The four Super Bowl teams were at their best when they were terrorizing their quarterbacks. They haven’t been doing a whole lot of scare lately, which is the main reason why this franchise hasn’t done much lately. Thursday night’s new order took a step toward addressing this situation, selecting Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeau with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
This qualifies as an amazing Giants and First Year General Manager Joe Sean. They were not associated with Thibodeaux in any of the pre-draft chats and there was clear concern within the team about how Thibodeaux would be in the New York media market and whether he was more interested in his brand than a great footballer. The Giants brought Thibodeau to visit and sent their top executives to Eugene, Oregon, for Professional Day. The Giants obviously loved what they saw and heard from Thibodeaux.
The Giants were well positioned in fifth as one of the top four offensive tackles was not selected in the first four selections. That left the Giants safe from being able to get one of the highest-ranked offensive linemen in the 7th position.
At this time one year ago, Thibodeaux was considered the No. 1 prospect in the 2022 draft. He did not have a special 2022 season, due to an ankle injury. He ended up with seven sacks and some scouts questioned his leadership in the field. Despite this, Thibodeaux is a keen talent and huge personality as he is hitting New York by storm.
“To be part of an organization like this is absurd,” Tibodo said moments after being chosen by the Giants.
That’s a huge piece of the puzzle for Wink Martindale, the new defensive coordinator, and he’s getting the Giants back into the passing business. They hope that Tibodou and Aziz Ogolari, who were selected in the second round last year, can form a dynamic duo on the edge. Ojulari as a novice led the Giants with eight sacks.
This could be a boom or bust for Schwinn and the Giants. Thibodeaux, from south central Los Angeles, is ready for the big city and it remains to be seen how he fits into the NFL locker room. He could be a double-digit sack player and not take a backseat as a running defender, using his speed and nose in the soccer ball to make tackles from the sideline to the sideline.
After Ojulari and now Thibodeaux, there isn’t much here on the Giants list. Jihad Ward, with 10 career sacks in seven NFL seasons, is signed to free agency. Ocean Ximins, after a promising 4.5-bag year in 2019, has battled injuries, starting just three games in the past two seasons and clinging to a spot on the roster. Elerson Smith, who was a 2021 fourth-round pick from Northern Iowa, opened the rookie season in the injured reserve and played in just eight games.
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