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Dan Campbell shoots down Kayvon Thibodeaux-to-Lions report: ‘Is the draft within the next day or so?’

You probably didn’t need Dan Campbell to tell you this, but the reports that the Lions are zeroed in on Kayvon Thibodeaux for the draft are extremely premature.

Oregon Spring Game Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Early Wednesday morning NFL insider Josina Anderson dropped a particularly strange report regarding the Detroit Lions. Per Anderson, the Lions’ current plans are to go after Oregon edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux in the 2022 NFL Draft.

“If the #Lions have the #1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, I’m told the current mindset is to select Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, per league source. No mock needed,” Anderson tweeted on Friday.

Immediately, there are a few red lights about this tweet. For one, this is per a league source, not necessarily a Lions source. Secondly, this is four months before the draft. Before the Lions have a chance to meet with Thibodeaux, before the Senior Bowl, before the NFL Combine. Any legitimate NFL franchise will want to do extremely thorough research on their first overall pick, and much of that work is done after the season. Is it reasonable that the Lions have a favorite right now? Of course, but “No mock needed” is a pretty ridiculous statement.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lions head coach Dan Campbell was asked about the report, and he shut it down pretty quickly.

“Is the draft within the next day or so?” Campbell said. “Because then I would be very interested, but right now, no. I really don’t (get involved). That’s (general manager) Brad’s (Holmes’) department right now. I’m so focused on what we have here and getting prepared for Arizona, to be honest with you.”

And that’s the last piece of the puzzle. So much of the Lions’ process involves cooperation and collaboration. Campbell has now reminded the media twice in a week that he has not had any involvement in draft talks, as he’s busy finishing out the rest of the 2021 regular season. So, of course, Thibodeaux to Lions is not anywhere close to a done deal at this point. Hell, the Lions may not even finish the season with the first overall pick.

Gonna be a long four months.