It wasn't all that long ago that Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux was considered the top prospect in this year's draft class. The 6-foot-4, 254-pound Thibodeaux totaled 19 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss in three seasons with the Ducks, and is still expected to be selected in the top half of the first round -- but perhaps not quite as early as many once thought.
That makes it intriguing that Thibodeaux is taking an official visit to Detroit, where the Lions hold the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Thibodeaux has already visited the Houston Texans, who own the No. 3 overall selection.
Count head coach Dan Campbell among those who are big fans of Thibodeaux. "I think as much exposure as you can get, the better off you are," Campbell said of bringing Thibodeaux in for a visit, according to the Detroit Free Press. "And man, listen, he's an explosive athlete and he's a playmaker. He's got a good, quick first step. I mean, he's – he's something else. He's pretty special on tape."
The Lions could certainly use edge rush help. They had the fourth-lowest pressure rate in the NFL in 2021, according to Pro-Football-Reference, and already cut ties with Trey Flowers earlier this offseason. At the moment, their top pass rushers are probably Romeo and Julian Okwara, and Charles Harris. That's a unit crying out for top-flight help.
With two teams picking in the top three each taking a close look at Thibodeaux at their respective facilities, it's possible that his supposed slide down draft boards that has been talked up in recent weeks is more of a smoke screen than a reality.
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