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Former Oregon standout and Giants rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux is already setting high goals for the upcoming NFL season.  

The No. 5 2022 draft pick said in an interview with NFL Network that he doesn’t want to think “too big,” but wants to be as productive as possible on the field for the New York franchise.

“I don’t want to think too big,” he said. “You have to compartmentalize the season. If I could average at least one sack a game or contribute five to 10 tackles a game, then I’ll be good.

“That’s the smartest way to do it. You never want to look at the end. You always want to take it day by day. If you reach for the top, you’ll miss those steps right in front of you. So I know if I take those small steps and get that one sack or five to 10 tackles a game, by the end of the season, I’ll be where I want to be.”

With the Ducks in 2021, the 21-year-old was close to accomplishing those goals in every game he played in. In all but three games, the defensive end tallied at least one sack or had at least five total tackles. His best performance came against UCLA, where he tallied eight solo tackles for a total of nine and had two sacks. His career stats at Oregon amount to 84 solo tackles (126 total) and 19 sacks. 

Not to mention, Thibodeaux is already putting in the work to be as successful as possible, including a rigorous work schedule during the off-season. He told NFL Network that he wakes up on weekdays at 6:00 a.m. for his first workout from 6:30 to 8:00 a.m. That is followed by a 9:00 a.m. hour-long lift, then a three-hour break to eat and relax, before studying film and learning his new playbook at noon. Physical therapy begins at 2 p.m., followed by business meetings and to top it off, yoga at around 4:30 p.m.

“It’s a full-time job now,” Thibodeaux said. 

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He also said he has been mentored by Giants legend and Hall of Famer Michael Strahan since before he was drafted by New York in April. The seven-time Pro Bowler led the league in sacks in 2001 (22.5) and ’03 (18.5), and in those same years led the NFL in tackles for loss.  

“He’s been a great mentor showing me the ropes and showing me how to stay focused while building an empire around me,” Thibodeaux said. “We always talk about being strategic in everything we do, so he’s kind of helped hone that in.”

Thibodeaux also reportedly suffered a hip injury during spring training, but told NFL Network he is “fully healthy” and is “doing fine.”

It appears Thibodeaux has all the tools and work ethic necessary to achieve his bold sack goal and help the ailing Giants franchise. New York has struggled since ’16, the last season the team found itself in the playoffs. Since then, the Giants have not had a winning season, with their best record coming in ’20 when they went 6–10. 

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