The Lions are doing their full pre-draft due diligence on Kayvon Thibodeaux, and head coach Dan Campbell went into why on Thursday.
The Detroit Lions are surveying their options with the No. 2 overall pick, and despite all the negative that’s out there about him Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is among them. The Lions sent a heavy contingent to Eugene for Oregon’s Pro Day, and Thibodeaux will be coming to town for a top-30 visit.
General manager Brad Holmes went to at least one of Thibodeaux’s games in-person last season, when the Ducks’ trip to take on UCLA coincided with the Lions playing the Rams in Los Angeles the same weekend.
Head coach Dan Campbell spoke to a throng of reporters on Thursday. He went into some finer details on why the Lions have done so much work on Thibodeaux. Here’s a couple pertinent points, via Kyle Meinke of MLive.
Long story short, let me say this: I don’t care about the off-field. Does he love football? That’s all I care about. Ultimately, I think that’s all we care about. If this guy loves football, we can handle anything else. I’m not concerned with the things off the field if you know a guy loves football.”
Hey, listen, he’s an explosive athlete,” Campbell said. “He’s a playmaker, you know? He’s got a good, quick first step. I mean, he’s something else. He’s pretty special on tape.”
Dan Campbell’s sentiment on Kayvon Thibodeaux is not surprising
At this point, we know you can’t play for Campbell if there’s any question about whether you love football. It’s also an annual thing for the kind of “concerns” which bring that into question to get out there about certain top-end draft prospects, since God-forbid they have other interests outside the game. But there’s no denying Thibodeaux’s talent and production.
Through the smoke screens, Thibodeaux has projected confidence (surely too much confidence for some) and tried to convey his commitment to the game as the pre-draft process continues, and now winds down.
If the Lions’ extensive work with Thibodeaux yields all the answers they want, capped by that pre-draft visit, he might be the No. 2 overall pick no matter who else is available.