Elite-caliber pass rushing prospect slides to Falcons in latest PFF mock draft

DHO1911023953 ORE at USC

Last week, an NFL draft pundit reported there were feelings around the league that elite-level prospects could slide down the draft board come April — ones who were once considered to be the best player at their position.

Derek Stingley Jr. and Kayvon Thibodeaux were the two prospects, in particular, that Matt Miller reportedly believes could fall. In Pro Football Focus’s latest mock draft, Seth Galina has the Falcons taking advantage of this exact situation by snagging the former Oregon Duck.

Here is an excerpt from my breakdown of the possibility of Thibodeaux falling in the draft.

Thibodeaux would be an absolute home run if he somehow fell to the Falcons at eight. The former Oregon Duck is built to rush the passer with his long, lean frame. He’s got an impressive first step and the flexibility to bend around edges. Though he’s more of a speed rusher, Thibodeaux has a timely bull rush that can catch tackles off guard.

Kayvon’s not incredibly effective at setting the edge against the run, but it’s not a total liability. His athleticism enables him to drop into coverage, which Dean Pees occasionally asks his outside linebackers to do.

Although he has a lot of upside, his awareness when defending the run needs work, and his hand usage isn’t even close to where it needs to be to beat NFL tackles consistently. He finished the 2021 season with 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks, and two forced fumbles. At this point, Thibodeaux checks every box for a high-end pass rusher; the Falcons would be overjoyed if they ended up with him

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