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New York Giants 2024 Training Camp Preview: OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux



New York Giants 2024 Training Camp Preview: OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen’s first ever draft pick was outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux. When the Giants selected him with the No.5 overall pick in 2022, they hoped to put an end to their pass rush woes. 

Thibodeaux’s first season with the Giants started slow, but he ended the year with four sacks and 13 quarterback hits. His two strip sacks came on Lamar Jackson and Taylor Heinicke, the latter being recovered and returned for a touchdown in the Giants’ Sunday night victory over the Commanders.

Thibodeaux came out with a vengeance in 2023, exploding for 11.5 sacks. The Giants still needed help rushing the passer heading into 2024, which is why they traded for Brian Burns. The pairing of Burns and Thibodeaux could propel the Giants’ defense to another level.

Height: 6-5
Weight: 258 lbs.
EXP: 3 years
School: Oregon
How acquired: D1-22

Thibodeaux led the Giants in sacks last year with 11.5. In addition to that, he also had 50 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 16 quarterback hits, four pass deflections and three forced fumbles. He almost doubled his pressures from the year prior, going from 18 in 2022 to 35 last season. He played in all 17 games while appearing in 87 percent of defensive snaps.

Thibodeaux took over a few games that he played in last season. Most notably a three sack, three tackles for loss game against the Jets in Week 8. He also had two sacks and two tackles for a loss in the Giants’ 31-19 win over the Commanders in Week 11. The Giants wanted this out of Thibodeaux when they drafted him, the ability to completely disrupt games. He provided a sneak peek of that in 2023.

Thibodeaux’s cap hit for 2024 is $8,547,011 with $3,554,004 guaranteed, the sixth highest cap number on the team. He has a base salary of $985,000 with a signing bonus of $4,993,007 and a regular roster bonus of $2,569,004.

Thibodeaux, along with the rest of the 2022 draft class, is entering a crucial third year. He has a new defensive coordinator in Shane Bowen, whose scheme should allow Thibodeaux the chance to strictly rush the passer and not have to drop into coverage as he did in Wink Martindale’s scheme. 

Thibodeaux should also benefit from having Burns on the field with him. Most of the attention figures to be placed on Burns and All-Pro defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, which could leave Thibodeaux with some favorable one-on-one matchups that further increase his production.  

Thibodeaux’s 2023 season was impressive, but he needs to get to the quarterback more consistently. The Giants had one of the lowest pressure rates in the league last season, hence why they traded for Burns. Thibodeaux put together one good season, but can he take the next step and make this an annual occurrence? He needs to become dominant and this system may allow him to do so.

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