The New York Giants have found their future pass rush duo in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari.
Heading into the 2021 NFL draft, many believed Ojulari would be a top pick. Unfortunately for the Georgia Edge rusher, a leg problem was diagnosed that caused him to fall off the draft boards. Finally, the Giants added him in the second round with the 50th pick overall.
During his rookie season, Ojulari was one of the few bright spots in that Giants defense. He finished the season with a total of 49 tackles, eight sacks and one forced fumble.
Ojulari’s eight sacks became the Giants’ new rookie record. But his new teammate could break the record just a year later.
Thibodeaux was recently asked about the possibility of breaking the record and whether or not surpassing the eight-sack total was a reasonable goal. He made it clear that he wouldn’t mind beating Ojulari’s record.
Thibodeaux simply said, “I wouldn’t want it.”
While at the University of Oregon, Thibodeaux made a name for himself by getting to quarterback with ease. According to PFFhe recorded 22 total sacks, 21 quarterback hits and 73 total rushes over his three collegiate seasons.
When the Giants added Thibodeaux with the fifth overall pick In the 2022 NFL draft, this is the kind of production they were hoping would bring to the table. If that kind of power can be there at the NFL level, this Giants pass rush will be in good hands for the foreseeable future.
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The duo of Ojulari and Thibodeaux
Ojulari and Thibodeaux could quickly become one of the most exciting pass-rushing pairings in the entire NFL.
Both players have been talking about each other lately, with each praising their teammate.
Thibodeaux has stated he wants to “do everything better” than Ojulari.
During a recent conversation with reporters, Thibodeaux explained, “I told him in a meeting yesterday that I want to do better in everything he does. Whether it’s eating, sleeping or breathing, I’ll try to do better.”
The two have clearly started to help each other get better, as Thibodeaux went on to say, “Just keep setting a standard and keep chasing it and create that competitive hoax.”
With Ojulari only recently returning to the field, the two have only just started playing alongside each other. But Thibodeaux is clearly excited to be playing alongside his fellow pass rusher.
When Thibodeaux was asked what it was like to have Ojulari on the field, he explained: “Obviously he’s a great player and now that he’s really back you know we have his presence and we can continue to build that camaraderie within the team. Yes it was great. I look forward to continuing.”
Ojulari shared a similar sentiment towards Thibodeaux. After returning from his hamstring injury, Ojulari was asked what struck him about ‘number five’. Ojulari replied and said, “Man, I like the way he works. He comes every day, competes, works hard, you know, tries to push everyone. Just gets better every day. Keep your head down dude, just come in and try to get better and keep up.”
The Giants have a long history of finding elite pairings on the defensive front. There’s a good chance this duo of Ojulari and Thibodeaux will be the next big one.
The rest of the defensive front
Outside of Ojulari and Thibodeaux, the Giants assembled a solid group to take on the quarterback.
On the inside, they have two solid defenders in Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. This pairing could prove to be just as important as the duo on the outside.
Williams is entering his eighth NFL season and fourth with the Giants. He has appeared in 112 career games since being drafted sixth overall in the 2015 NFL draft. He has recorded 404 total tackles, 53 tackles for loss and 35.5 sacks.
Lawrence is the younger of the two as he is entering his fourth season in the NFL. He was a central point of this defensive front since the Giants drafted him with the 17th pick overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Since joining the team, he has recorded 145 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and nine total sacks.
Since this group leads the defensive front, this giant’s unit could regularly find itself in the rear. They’re just full of potential right now. But eventually they might show how talented they really are.
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https://heavy.com/sports/new-york-giants/kayvon-thibodeaux-has-eyes-on-record-set-by-azeez-ojulari/ Kayvon Thibodeaux has his eye on Azeez Ojulari’s record