Kayvon Thibodeaux Maybe a Pipedream, but Oregon DE on Philadelphia Eagles radar

It was towards the end of the Eagles’ regular season when Brandon Graham started showing up here and there outside the offices of the team’s NovaCare complex.

As usual, Graham was always in good spirits and more than willing to speak with reporters.

One day he was asked if he thought he would return next season.

“Oh yeah, I will,” he said, then added, “but you never know, if they get that kid from Oregon, phew, who knows?”

At the time, it seemed impossible though. This kid, Kayvon Thibodeaux, was considered the first pick in the draft. He was so good.

He could still be. Otherwise, perhaps the overall second choice.

Some inconsistent striping, criticism of an engine not warming up all the time, and a propensity for taking plays on occasion have led many teams to rethink their stance on the growing 6-4, 254-pound rusher. . in South Central Los Angeles before attending Oregon.

Garbage, Thibodeaux told the NFL Scouting Combine last month.

“I feel like everyone has a job,” he said. “For me, I feel like when you have a smart kid like me, you have a lot of positives, someone has to find the negatives. I don’t look at it too much. I know what I can do for a team.

“And when we break down the movie, I can talk about the ins and outs of the game. I’m not really too worried about what people have to say about it, as long as the teams and I can understand who I am and at which point [I play]and the love I have for the game.”

Maybe what is being said will drag him a little, maybe even into a sweet spot where the Eagles would feel comfortable going up for a player who has been compared to Brian Orakpo, who had three seasons of double digit bags in 10 years. career that saw him finish with 66 QB takedowns.

He’s a pipe dream, but the Eagles have given enough thought to the possibility, and the skills Thibodeaux could bring, to invite him into town for one of their pre-draft visits.

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Meanwhile, Graham will return for his 13th season.

This makes him the most tenured athlete of the four professional sports in Philadelphia, achieving that distinction after the Flyers traded Claude Giroux.

Having just turned 34 on April 3, time is certainly running out for a career that will end with Graham in the Eagles Hall of Fame.

What a resource he would be for Thibodeaux, or whatever rusher the Eagles choose to draft.

Thibodeaux has previously expressed his surprise at no longer being considered the best player in the repechage, calling him “scandalous”.

“The most ridiculous thing I’ve heard is that I’m not the best player in this draft,” Thibodeaux told reporters after his pro day last week in Eugene, which was attended by all 32 teams. .

“I really don’t listen to anything else, but to me it’s outrageous. With the film, with the numbers and what I can do, in terms of my abilities, I’m confident in what I can To do.”

An interesting note about Thibodeaux is his love for chess.

“I’m not the biggest guy, I’m not the strongest guy and I’m not the fastest guy, so when you realize that, just like Von Miller, you have to figure out what’s going to give you that edge and for me, my mind is what gives me that edge,” said. “I’m a chess player, so I think going forward (like) how do I define the game and dictate what what does the offensive tackle do so that I can get what I want out of the situation.

“Chess is life and chess is football. You talk about your first move, and your first move is going to prepare for your second move, and then you have to think about your upcoming third move. Go fast, I I’ll hit you with speed, I’ll always hit you with speed.

“And that will set up my power moves, and then my power moves will set up my meter. It’s a heavyweight match, like a boxer. You hit him with a jab, jab, you wanna come with a hook, change it. Just having that longevity and realizing that when the fourth trimester rolls around, you have to put everything into place.

Maybe if the Eagles find a way to turn their pre-draft visit into a draft, Thibodeaux can teach Graham chess while Graham teaches him how to be successful in the NFL.

Ed Kracz is SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today editor and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles Where www.eaglesmaven.com and follow him on Twitter: @kracze.

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