The best athlete in the state isn’t doing much these days
Oregon Duck defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is expected to go in the top three picks of the upcoming NFL draft. But his name won’t be called by Roger Goodell until the evening of April 28, which gives him almost four months of idle time.
What better way to stay in shape for mini-camp than by chasing LeBron James et. al. around for 18-26 minutes a night? Thibodeaux certainly has an NBA-ready body at 6′ 5″ and north of 250 pounds and the explosive quickness that makes great defenders and rebounders.
He hasn’t played organized basketball since his freshman year at Oaks Christian High School, but he did average 4.2 points per game. And the Blazers won’t be asking him to shoot 3-pointers or run the point; he’ll be there to play defense, jump out of the sky for rebounds, and to scare people.
Thibodeaux won’t draw the double- and triple-teams he does on the gridiron, but he’ll cover more ground on the court than one man should be able to. His instincts on the football field are undeniable, and hopefully he’d be able to curb the most collision-hungry chunks of those inclinations long enough to stay out of foul trouble.
He did take himself out of the Ducks’ Alamo Bowl matchup with Oklahoma so as not to risk his upcoming multimillion dollar rookie contract, so it may take some convincing to get him to lace up his sneakers. But an appeal to the needs of his “hometown” team might carry some weight, although his actual hometown is Los Angeles and Eugene is 100 miles from Portland.
So let’s call Thibodeaux an extreme long-shot at best and move a little further down the talent line.