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NFL teams reportedly concerned about Kayvon Thibodeaux’s effort level

Matt Johnson
Kayvon THibodeaux
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is often viewed as an opportunity for players to put their athleticism on display. However, top prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux seems to have even bigger questions to answer away from the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Thibodeaux is viewed as one of the most talented players in the 2022 NFL Draft. A 6-foot-5 edge rusher with great length and outstanding athleticism, he offers sky-high potential. He also made huge plays at Oregon, often turning his physical skills into high-level production.

However, Thibodaux is facing some questions from NFL teams in Indianapolis. It also seemingly doesn’t help that his former coaches at Oregon might not be helping erase some concerns scouts have.

Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline wrote that there is a belief from scouts and evaluators at the NFL Combine that Thibodeaux “doesn’t play with the same fire as some other top prospects.” The issues with his motor are seemingly backed up by people affiliated with the Ducks’ football program, who said that the talented pass rusher “gave up on plays too easily.”

Related: 2022 NFL Power Rankings – Outlook for all 32 teams entering summer

Teams scrutinize every single tiny detail of a draft prospect, finding every little perceived issue that might increase the chances of that player becoming a draft bust. For some evaluators, Thibodeaux not displaying a consistent effort could be a warning sign for what will happen once he starts getting paid.

  • Kayvon Thibodeaux stats (2019-’21): 35.5 tackles fr loss, 19 sacks

However, Thibodeaux suffered an ankle sprain in Oregon’s season opener. It’s an injury that can linger for months. Thibodeaux knew from the beginning he would be a top-10 pick in 2022, making it a greater risk to play non-stop on a bad ankle. Given there seem to be no character concerns with Thibodeaux, these small worries about motor shouldn’t impact his draft stock too much.