It’s not a surprise it’s happening, but the Detroit Lions pre-draft visit with Kayvon Thibodeaux has reportedly been scheduled.
As the Detroit Lions consider what to do with the No. 2 overall pick, and if Aidan Hutchinson is gone, Kayvon Thibodeaux lingers as an option despite all the buzz about his stock falling. So it’s not surprising they’ll have the Oregon edge rusher in for a top-30 pre-draft visit, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported Thibodeaux is coming in to visit the Lions next week.
Thibodeaux has also met the with the Houston Texans (who have the No. 3 pick) and the Philadephia Eagles (who have the 15th and 18th overall picks now).
The Lions perhaps had the largest contingent at Oregon’s Pro Day last week, certainly with their primary eye on Thibodeaux as they also spoke to him off to the side. They talked to him at the NFL Combine, and general manager Brad Holmes attended Oregon’s game against UCLA when the Lions were in Los Angeles to play the Rams the following day. In that game, Thibodeaux had a season-high 4.5 tackles for loss along with two sacks.
Kayvon Thibodeaux remains a legit option for the Lions at No. 2
All the talk about Thibodeaux’s effort level and love for football is easy to see as a smokescreen put out there by teams hoping he falls (given the Eagles recent trade and a visit already, looking at you, Howie Roseman). Even the comp he offered for himself, Jadeveon Clowney 2.0, is not all that flattering based on the expectations Clowney entered the league with.
The Lions’ pass rush was lacking, as in toward the bottom of the league, across the board last year. Thibodeaux looks like he’d be a difference maker to help there. Even with the extra attention he surely got from opposing blocking schemes last year, he was at the top of the heap in pass rush “win rate” among the edge rushers in this draft class.
As the Lions round out their evaluation of Thibodeaux with an in-person visit to their building, a broader correction in his draft stock wouldn’t be surprising as the smoke screens fade. On the clock at No. 2 on April 28, Thibodeaux might become the pick for Detroit without much clock time elapsing.