NFL

Giants somehow land Kayvon Thibodeaux in latest PFF mock draft

Most early mock drafts are uniform in that the New York Giants select two offensive linemen with their two first-round picks. In some cases, prognosticators have the Giants landing an offensive tackle and then moving onto linebacker/edge rusher.

One thing we have not seen in many (see: any) mock drafts is Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux falling. We certainly haven’t seen him slide all the way to No. 5 overall.

Well, that changed in the most recent mock draft published by Pro Football Focus. In it, they not only have Thibodeaux sliding, but ultimately have him landing with the Giants.

5. NEW YORK GIANTS: EDGE KAYVON THIBODEAUX, OREGON

Thibodeaux coming off the board at No. 5 might feel like a “fall,” given that he was the consensus No. 1 overall pick just a few months ago. But after learning more about the class, it makes more sense that his range falls between Pick 1 and Pick 5.

He still could very well be the first player taken in the draft, but if he’s not, there’s no guarantee he’s the next name after that. His natural gifts as a pass-rusher make him a top-five lock, but I’ll give some hope to Giants fans because I do think it could play out like this, given the talent at the top of the class and the potential team needs in the top five.

Yes, the Giants desperately need a right tackle but there is zero chance they would or even could pass on Thibodeaux should he fall. This would absolutely have to be the pick.

So, that would leave New York to take an OT at No. 7 overall, right? Wrong.

7. NEW YORK GIANTS (VIA CHI): IOL TYLER LINDERBAUM, IOWA

Yeah, yeah, I know. “You don’t take a center this high.”

However, I genuinely think this is where Linderbaum’s range begins, and I also think there’s a chance he could be the Giants’ second selection. New general manager Joe Schoen comes over from Buffalo, where he served as assistant GM for five years. He was Brandon Beane’s right-hand man, and with 20 years of a scouting background, his voice was likely a very important one in the war room.

The Bills have honed in on the trenches in each of their last three drafts — all five of their first and second-round picks since 2019 were spent on either offensive line or defensive line.

Here, they went with a dynamic, high-ceiling pass protector at No. 5, and I bet Schoen is one of those GMs who simply says, “we’re going to draft great football players in the trenches.” Linderbaum is one of them.

What a first round this would be for the Giants. Nabbing Thibodeaux and Tyler Linderbaum — two impact players who start on Day 1 — would be a coup.

It doesn’t solve the right tackle problem, but there’s free agency for that. You couldn’t possibly be angry with this 1-2 punch of picks.

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