Should Seahawks take Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux if he’s there at 9?
Well before the Seahawks acquired the No. 9 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, it seemed like there was no way that star Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux would make it there. Entering the 2022 season, Thibodeaux was seen as not only a lock as a top-5 pick, but as a favorite to go No. 1 overall.
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But reported scout concerns over effort and interviews reportedly has Thibodeaux’s draft stock sliding, and he’s far from a lock to go in the first five picks. In fact, Thibodeaux could slide out of the top-10 overall.
If that were to happen, that would require the Seahawks at No. 9 passing on Thibodeaux either in favor of another player, or in favor of trading down in the first round.
But if the two-time first-team All-Pac 12 edge rusher is there at No. 9, should the Seahawks pull the trigger? Who better to answer that question than former NFL quarterback Brock Huard, who is also a college football analyst for FOX Sports?
Huard joined Mike Lefko on Seattle Sports 710 AM’s The Mike Salk Show Tuesday morning and discussed Thibodeaux, who has become arguably the 2022 NFL Draft’s biggest wild card.
First off, why would someone like Thibodeaux, who was once seen as the draft’s top prospect, now potentially falling out of the top-10 altogether?
“I think there’s two things. I think No. 1, if you study him – and I had a few of his games over his three years (at Oregon), so I did Kayvon’s games – when the motor is flipped on and the gas pedal is stepped on, the RPMs are at a max, the guy is a monster,” Huard said. “The guy is a top-three to five pick in the league, period. But there’s just too many times you flip the tape on and the RPMs are not revved up, the engine is not on, it is not at full go and that concerns NFL people.”
The other concern, Huard said, has to do with Thibodeaux physically.
“The other thing is he’s a little bit tight. He’s bound. These NFL guys call it ‘stiffness’ in the hips and such,” Huard said. “And you watch him and he is kind of musclebound, can be a little bit tight at times in and out of movement and explosion. So I think those two things paired with a tremendous offensive tackle draft, paired with some tremendous wide receivers in different shapes and sizes, paired with some other elite-elite pass rushers – including more likely the No. 1 pick in (Michigan’s) Aiden Hutchinson – because of that, you stack those guys a little bit ahead of him.”
Is that enough to make him available at pick No. 9 when the Seahawks are on the clock?
“I won’t be surprised at all if he’s sitting there at nine,” Huard said. “And if he is, I’d be very curious to see if the Seahawks go down that road.”
But will they if Thibodeaux is available?
“I don’t think they will,” Huard said.
So why would the Seahawks, who had one of the worst pass rushes in football in 2021 and won’t have top sacker Carlos Dunlap back in 2022, pass on an edge rusher of Thibodeaux’s caliber?
“They desperately need an offensive tackle,” Huard said.
Huard said he’d put offensive tackle as a bigger need than edge rusher right now with left tackle Duane Brown still a free agent
“I would love to see Duane Brown signed first. I don’t anticipate that in the next two weeks, so therefore, I think offensive tackle is an even bigger need than that pass rusher, especially one, as I said and laid out there, with a few question marks like Thibodeaux,” Huard said.
Should the Seahawks trade down?
When asked by Lefko what surprise move the Seahawks could make at pick No. 9, Huard said what would be surprising would be the team not making a move at all.
“Well, here’s what would be surprising is the Seahawks draft at nine,” he said.
Since head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over the franchise in 2010, the Seahawks have regularly traded down from their initial first-round draft pick. Huard said that’s been the team’s M.O., and he expects it again even though they hold the highest pick they’ve had since the 2010 draft.
“So what would be different and surprising is if they pulled the trigger at nine,” Huard said. “I think this draft as we’re getting a little bit closer and closer to it, smells like there’s 13 to 15 top-tier guys, right? It’s not 30 top-tier guys from what the experts out there will lay out to you. And in (the Seahawks’) minds, they’re hoping that they never draft at nine again, right? That they’re going to be back (to competitive) a whole lot quicker and turn this thing a whole lot quicker, which teams can do in the NFL a whole lot faster than they can certainly in baseball and the NBA and the other professional sports. So for that reason, it would be a surprise if they pick at No. 9, (but) I sure hope they do.”
Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Mike Salk Show at this link or in the player below.
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