1. Kayvon Thibodeaux will improve the Jaguars’ run defense
The Jaguars surrendered 2,127 yards on the ground while getting gashed for 22 touchdowns and giving up an average of 4.3 yards per rushing attempt. The bottom line is that this was one of the Jaguars’ biggest weaknesses last season. Thibodeaux could come in from Day 1 and help get this turned around.
Plain and simple, Thibodeaux knows how to break up plays and cause havoc in an opponent’s offensive backfield. From 2019 through 2021, Thibodeaux accumulated 35.5 tackles for a loss. During that stretch, he was in the top four, categorically, in the Pac-12 each of those seasons and was a consensus All-American last year.
Coming into the NFL, Thibodeaux will benefit from playing more on the weakside as that is where he consistently flourished in college. That’s not to say he can’t dominate on the strong side but that’ll require some refinement. As of right now, Thibodeaux’s relentless play against the offense’s left side will be what the Jaguars need. Thanks to his athleticism and explosive first step, he can effortlessly break up run plays and just like in college, he’ll need to be accounted for on every play. The best word to describe Thibodeaux’s game in this department is “pursuit.” He can take any angle and will find a way to rattle an offense.
Thibodeaux has excellent instincts and feel for the football, combined with ferocious effort, despite being accused of taking “plays off.”