Kayvon Thibodeaux talks expectations for Year 1
It's been exactly two months since the Giants used the fifth overall pick in the draft to select Kayvon Thibodeaux. Since then, the edge rusher out of Oregon has made a strong impression.
Thibodeaux recently paid a visit to NFL Network out in Los Angeles, where he made appearances on several NFL shows to discuss various topics, including his expectations for his rookie year.
"I don't want to think too big. You have to compartmentalize the season," Thibodeaux said on what he wants to accomplish in 2022. "If I could average at least one sack a game or contribute five to 10 tackles a game, then I'll be good.
"That's the smartest way to do it. You never want to look at the end. You always want to take it day by day. If you reach for the top, you'll miss those steps right in front of you. So I know if I take those small steps and get that one sack or five to 10 tackles a game, by the end of the season, I'll be where I want to be."
Thibodeaux joins a talented group of defensive linemen. Lining up across from him on the opposite edge will be Azeez Ojulari, last year's second-round pick who set a new franchise rookie record with his 8 sacks.
In addition to Ojulari, Thibodeaux is accompanied in the defensive linemen room by Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, and a mix of several other veterans and young players, all of whom have helped guide the rookie through his first NFL offseason program.
"It's been great learning from the guys," said the rookie. "One person can't do every move, so it's been understanding what I can do and what's good for me and my game. Then it's fine-tuning everything I have. ... The biggest challenge (heading into my rookie season) is understanding I can't control everything. I can only control what I can control. Even though I want to do as much as I can, I can only do the task at hand, my job."
The No. 5 overall pick has also received advice from one of the franchise's all-time greats.
The relationship between Thibodeaux and Michael Strahan is well-known. However, both the rookie and the Hall of Famer revealed that the mentorship actually began before he was drafted back when Thibodeaux was still at Oregon.
Nonetheless, Thibodeaux is very appreciative for all that Strahan has done and continues to do for him.
"He's been a great mentor showing me the ropes and showing me how to stay focused while building an empire around me," Thibodeaux exclaimed. "We always talk about being strategic in everything we do, so he's kind of helped hone that in."