New York Giants think Kayvon Thibodeaux has no ceiling in NFL
New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was asked about Dexter Lawrence — the team’s 2019 first-round draft choice — and brought up Kayvon Thibodeaux unprompted.
In an interview with the New York Post’s Steve Serby, Martindale was asked about recent comments from Lawrence that he wants to be a Hall of Famer. Martindale evidently thinks Thibodeaux has the same kind of potential.
“I think Dex, and I think Kayvon, second-year player, I don’t think they have ceilings,” Martindale told Serby.
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Thibodeaux produced four sacks as a rookie for the Giants last season. In 14 starts, he also had 49 tackles, six tackles for loss, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two recoveries, and a defensive touchdown.
Thibodeaux finished fourth in voting for the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year behind Sauce Gardner, Aidan Hutchinson, and Tariq Woolen. His sack numbers were oft-cited by critics.
Martindale doesn’t seem concerned.
“The screens and the max protection I know for sure, we’re No. 1 in the league facing those. You’re not gonna get sacks on those plays, and on top of all that, people understand that we know how to beat protections,” Martindale told Serby. “When you know the team you’re playing against [can] beat protections, your quarterback coach and the offensive coordinator’s saying, ‘Get rid of the ball quick.’ So I think you have those three challenges of not just sitting there which a lot of teams just rush four and play one coverage, and then blame the players when it doesn’t work — that’s not how we roll.”
So, what specifically excites Martindale about Thibodeaux as he enters into Year 2 with the organization?
“Everything,” the coordinator said. “He’s an exceptional football player and he’s an exceptional person. I really enjoy being around him.”