EDGE Oregon 6-4 254 JR #5
GRADE: 93 OVR RANK: 3 POS RANK: 2
ARM LENGTH: 33 1/8”//HAND SIZE: 9 3/4”//40YD: 4.58 (98%)//10YD: 1.56 (99%)
VJ: ( %)//BJ: 9’11” (82%)//BP: 27 (87%)//SS: 4.34 (81%)//3C: 7.23 (68%)
Projection: Starting Rush LB in a 3-4 that you can win because of. Could also play Defensive End for a team that doesn’t prioritize size too heavily at the position. Draft Projection: Top 10 ~ GrindingTheMocks.com
Ravens Fit: Thibodeaux has had some concerns voiced about him during the draft process that seem to center around his love for football. The Ravens seem to have a track record of encouraging well-rounded players who love the game but also have other interests. If he falls in the first round, it will be ridiculous given what he has put on film. The explosive power, first step quickness and bend provides a ceiling unmatched by any prospect in this class. He fits the Ravens like a glove, and seems to fit the emerging new profile for their Edge-rushers. If he’s the pick at 14 though, he fits a far more traditional profile for the Ravens; a sliding defensive talent that they will snatch up in the middle of the first round and ends up showing half the league what a mistake they made. Would enter the edge rotation immediately and work into a high, starter-type snap count, his first year in the league.
Overall Fit 4/5
Plays mostly outside as a stand up 9 or 7 technique but can also reduce down inside.
He has an outrageously good take-off in all situations and gets upfield in a hurry. He is a very explosive athlete both in his movement and in his strength. His first-step quickness is elite and he processes at a high level to keep it consistent. His second and third step are also good and he can quickly soften angles. He puts Offensive Linemen under immediate duress with his speed off the ball. He has a solid but not spectacular rush plan right now. He shows flashes of being able to set Offensive Linemen up for an impressive array of moves but he hasn’t yet learned how to put them all together in a consistently effective plan. He mostly doesn’t play enough to his strengths. He has a devastating speed to power move because of his bend and therefore leverage that he plays with, but he doesn’t work it in effective tandem with other moves to prevent savvier OL from sitting on that speed to power and getting themselves prepared to anchor against it. He has plenty of outside moves and can threaten the edge before using his excellent lateral quickness to dead leg and come back inside the blocker. He has a knack and a feel for turning the blocker when rushing the passer and can use the explosion in his hands to win. He does get challenged by Offensive Tackles with better length and a well placed outside strike but even then he will compete due to his savvy use of hands and ability to get under the blocker through his bend.
Speaking of bend, as a pass-rusher, his best trait next to his upfield burst is his bend, cornering and finish on the Quarterback. When he gets the edge he is able to use his ankle and hip flexion as well as his excellent hand usage to maintain his play strength through the rep and corners with a vicious efficiency. He is able to then accelerate into the Quarterback, often engulfing the passers that he’s able to sack. He finishes with speed and power. As a bonus, he can also drop in space and can be used as a stand-up OLB who occasionally drops in coverage. For me, he shows good physical toughness, competitiveness and a good motor, even when garnering a lot of attention from the offense.
He’s equally quick off the ball and up the field against the run. As a front-side defender he reads the running game well and uses his upfield burst and explosion to his advantage. He has very good hand usage, able to time and place his hands expertly. The hand usage is buttressed by the explosive strength he has, he is able to snap Offensive Linemen backwards at the point of attack and almost break them in half. He always locks out to gain leverage and brings his bend into play as a run defender too. When on the backside of runs, he can be targeted with misdirection, play fakes and trap blocks. You can get him moving one way before coming back the other with some smoke and mirrors. It does start to make him struggle as a back-side defender as he becomes hesitant and isn’t able to use his explosion and speed to chase down plays from behind.
Explosive in everything that he does. The shock in his hands is devastating in the run game and when putting speed to power moves on OL. His speed and bend mean he corners and gets to the QB with frightening consistency. Must work on reading more complex runs as the backside defender and setting up his primary rush moves in his rush plan.
JR: 9 Sacks, 11 QB Hits, 45 Total Tackles, 2 FFs, 1 PBU
SO: 3 Sacks, 4 QB Hits, 27 Total Tackles, 3 Batted Balls
INJURY: Ankle Sprain, Missed 2 Games (JR)