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Giants Now: The Athletic selects Kayvon Thibodeaux as Giants' breakout candidate


The Athletic selects Kayvon Thibodeaux as Giants' breakout candidate

The wait is almost over.

We are officially one week away from players reporting to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the start of training camp.

With the season inching closer and closer, The Athletic recently compiled a list of every team's biggest breakout candidate for the 2023 season. Giants beat reporter Dan Duggan made his selection in the form of second-year outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux.

"Thibodeaux's rookie season featured flashes of the talent that compelled the Giants to use the fifth pick in the 2022 draft on the outside linebacker," wrote Duggan. "The hope is that Thibodeaux can build off his potential to become a game-wrecking presence off the edge. His advanced metrics as a pass rusher ranked much higher than his four sacks last season, so there's reason to believe Thibodeaux will make a greater impact in Year 2 when he converts pressures into game-changing plays."

After missing the first two weeks of the season, Thibodeaux went on to play the next 14 games. He finished his rookie campaign with 49 tackles (33 solo), four sacks, six tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five passes defensed and one defensive touchdown.

The 6-foot-5, 258-pound outside linebacker finished the season strong as three of his four sacks came in the final five games of the regular season. This led to him finishing fourth in the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

The 22-year-old flashed his potential during the Giants' Week 15 win over the Washington Commanders, a game that Thibodeaux dominated. The former Oregon Duck finished with 12 tackles (nine solo), a sack, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble which he recovered and returned for a touchdown.

Thibodeaux had another strong outing against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 12, where PFF had him down for nine total pressures, including five quarterback hits.

"This is a guy I know is going to be a great player for the Giants," Giants legend Michael Strahan told the New York Post last month. "I know he has the worth ethic, he has the desire and as much as you say 'He's outgoing, he talks, he does this,' the guy really works at it, and that's what I respect about him. It's not like he's just saying it and going off raw talent and ability. He's saying it because he believes it. Because he puts in the work to make it happen."

View the best photos of Giants outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Get excited for the 2023 season with photos from Media Day at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.