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Kayvon Thibodeaux says he ‘hit it off’ with Brad Holmes, is on Dan Campbell’s ‘speed dial’

Thibodeaux cleared the air about the meetings he’s had with the Detroit Lions and his relationship with the head coach and general manager.

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NFL: Scouting Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors on Kayvon Thibodeaux have been all over the place since the 2021 college football season ended. Early on, it was speculated that the Detroit Lions were extremely interested in Thibodeaux. However, as the draft machine rolled on, some questioned whether he would be a culture fit, due to some perceived faults in his personality. Some said it looked like he took plays off. Others suggested he had a me-first attitude that wouldn’t fly in some NFL locker room.

Just in the past two weeks, the takes have been head-spinning. One NFL executive told MMQB’s Albert Breer that he heard Campbell “isn’t a fan” of Thibodeaux. A week later, Pro Football Talk’s Peter King said he’s hearing the Lions are “smitten” with Thibodeaux, although he still had them taking Aidan Hutchinson in his mock draft.

Down in Las Vegas for the draft, Thibodeaux attempted to clear the air about his relationship with the Lions in a pair of interviews.

First, with the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett, Thibodeaux explained how he and Campbell have been in constant communication over the past few months.

“I talk to Dan too much,” Thibodeaux joked. “I’m tired of talking to Dan. Dan got me on speed dial. Not like that, I’m just joking. But we’ve had lots of talks.”

How frequently in the past few weeks?

“Often.”

Thibodeaux then sat down with Josina Anderson—who first tweeted about the Lions’ infatuation with Thibodeaux way back in mid-December—and provided some insight into his meeting with the Lions general manager Brad Holmes at Oregon’s pro day.

“If you were at that meeting, it was like my uncle had a cookout,” Thibodeaux said. “We’re chililn, we’re giggling, we’re clowning, and we’re really getting to know each other and build(ing) a relationship. We hit it off. I feel like it was great.”

Last week, Holmes talked to The Athletic and explained why he did such thorough research on Thibodeaux—going to his Pro Day, watching a game in person during the NFL season, and bringing him in for a top-30 visit.

“With Oregon, I went out there and I went to a Thibodeaux game,” Holmes said. “But I went out there and I just wanted to see him live again... I just wanted to see Thibodeaux again and give him another look.”

With the rumors getting louder and louder that the Jacksonville Jaguars may pick Georgia edge defender Travon Walker, the Lions will bring the debate right back to where it was at the start of draft season: Thibodeaux vs. Hutchison. Only around 24 hours until we find out their choice.