The Oklahoma cornerback is one of the most polarizing players in this year’s NFL Draft. Can he be a shutdown corner? One thing is for certain: his draft stock will soon tell the real story, regardless of whether or not it’s positive.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, a wide receiver out of LSU, has been criticized by the media for his poor performance at the NFL Combine. However, his draft stock is not what matters most in this situation. Read more in detail here: 2022 draft class nfl.

Kayvon Thibodeaux has gotten his fair share of flak for being a potentially outstanding NFL pass rusher.

Despite his 6-foot-5, 258-pound frame and 19 sacks for the Oregon Ducks over the previous three seasons, he has been overlooked.

Thibodeaux, like any other exceptional prospect, has faith in himself. He feels he is the finest prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he didn’t hesitate to say it during Oregon’s pro day. 

Is his confidence, though, mere bluster?

We’ll find out soon enough, since the whole tale will be revealed by where he ends up in the draft.

Kayvon Thibodeaux’s NFL Draft status has taken a knock.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, 2022 NFL Draft

Kayvon Thibodeaux, 2022 NFL Draft During the first quarter against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium, Oregon Ducks #5 Kayvon Thibodeaux looks on | Steph Chambers/Getty Images

To be fair to Thibodeaux’s detractors, he isn’t likely to be selected in the second round of the next draft. It’s impossible to find many (trustworthy) mock drafts that don’t have him going first or second.

They’re out there, however, and there’s always fire where there’s smoke. Thibodeaux isn’t the only viable choice at the top of the draft, though.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are widely expected to choose Michigan defensive end and Heisman Trophy contender Aidan Hutchinson first overall. After then, it’s anyone’s guess.

For selections two through five, players such as Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Sauce Gardner, Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal, and Georgia edge-rusher Travon Walker (a recent surge in several mock drafts) are also in play. Depending on whatever draft “expert” you trust, there are a few more prominent names in play as well.

Thibodeaux is, of course, a viable contender to follow Hutchinson to the Detroit Lions at No. 2, but there are mock drafts that have him dropping, some dramatically.

According to CBS Sports, he will be drafted No. 7 by the New York Giants. According to USA Today, the Oregon Ducks will fall all the way to No. 10 in the NFL draft, where they will face the New York Jets. That would be a bargain for Gang Green, but it would be a huge letdown for Thibodeaux.

Thibodeaux believes he is the finest prospect in the NFL Draft in 2022.

*{padding:0;margin:0;overflow:hidden}html,body{height:100%}img,span{position:absolute;width:100%;top:0;bottom:0;margin:auto}span{height:1.5em;text-align:center;font:48px/1.5 sans-serif;color:white;text-shadow:0 0 0.5em black}><span>▶</span> Kayvon Thibodeaux believes he’s the best prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft

Thibodeaux would have himself going No. 1 overall to the Jaguars if he could foretell his destiny and make his own mock draft. It wouldn’t even cross his head as a possibility. He believes he is the best player in the draft, and he didn’t hold back while voicing that view with the media during his Pro Day.

Thibodeaux told USA Today, “The most ludicrous thing I’ve heard is that I’m not the greatest player in this draft.” “I don’t listen to anything else, but it is absurd to me.” 

“I have faith in what I can achieve because of the film, the figures, and what I can do in terms of my talent.” 

Thibodeaux is correct; he has extraordinary abilities.

For as long as he’s been at Oregon, there’s a reason he’s been regarded as a high NFL prospect. It’s not often that you come across a defender with Thibodeaux’s height, strength, agility, pass-rushing skill, and comfort in space, but he’s the genuine thing.

So why isn’t he the clear favorite?

First and foremost, Hutchinson wants to be unique. He’s 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, and he had 14 sacks and two forced fumbles last season at Michigan. He has a “it” factor and has the potential to make an immediate impact in Jackonville.

There have been various red flags raised in regards to Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux’s performance was dubbed “spotty” by NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah. Todd McShay noted in February that the Oregon prospect “simply doesn’t play with the same fire as some other top prospects,” so he wouldn’t be surprised if he dropped out of the top five. (With thanks to Bleacher Report). 

With the ascent of guys like Walker from Georgia, as well as the potential that a club like Detroit may take a wild swing at a quarterback at the top of the draft (possibly Malik Willis), Thibodeaux could slip out of the top ten entirely. That would have seemed unthinkable at the beginning of this class’s draft process, yet here we are.

Despite this, Thibodeaux is skeptical of the hype…or the current lack thereof. In fact, he was more than willing to point the finger at the media for his dwindling draft value.

Thibodeaux said, “It’s simple to view a fragment of anything because that’s what media does.” “They chop things apart and arrange them in whichever way they desire.”

“If you just watch the full video, you’ll see.” 

That’s a fantastic soundbite, and kudos to Thibodeaux for standing up for himself, but if the elite of the NFL Draft media (who watch a lot of real video) has seen effort concerns with the Oregon pass-rusher, one would assume the hyper-critical eye of NFL scouts and general managers would as well.

If this isn’t the case, Thibodeaux’s video will speak for itself, and he’ll be a top two-to-five choice in a matter of weeks. However, if he drops out of the top 10, we’ll know why. 

ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.

RELATED: Kayvon Thibodeaux’s Trainer Declares Him the No. 1 Pick in the NFL Draft 

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