Kayvon Thibodeaux identifies the Ravens as his ‘first’ team

Ravens, Kayvon Thibodeaux (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Ravens, Kayvon Thibodeaux (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

You always remember your first. And for top pass-rushing prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux, his “first” was the Baltimore Ravens.

The Oregon product enters the 2022 NFL Draft as one of the best prospects in his draft class, and Thibodeaux can expect his name to be called out as soon as the first or second pick.

In other words: the Ravens have no chance of selecting him….unless he miraculously falls down to the ninth or tenth pick and Baltimore trades up. Even then, it’s still a long shot.

But that doesn’t mean Thibodeaux doesn’t have a special place in his heart for Baltimore. Or more specifically, one certain legendary Ravens defender.

Thibodeaux sat down with CBS Sports and got to talking about the person who made him love football. Without skipping a beat, Thibodeaux said it was Ray Lewis, and he had fortuitously run into the Ravens linebacker in a restaurant long ago.

Kayvon Thibodeaux gushes over Baltimore Ravens legend Ray Lewis

Like most Ravens fans, Thibodeaux remembers the day Baltimore won the Super Bowl like it was yesterday.

"“The first shirt, the first NFL team that I had was the Baltimore Ravens. And it was 2012, it was the Super Bowl, and I was watching them, and when the lights got shut off I just knew, I felt that [the 49ers] were not going to come back…The Ravens ended up winning and the legacy is what it is.”"

He went so far as to call Lewis a “father” figure with so much “wisdom, love, and passion” and said the whole experience was incredibly “surreal.”

Lewis, a first-round pick back in 1996, gave 17 good, long years to Baltimore and ended his career as arguably the best Ravens player in franchise history. His resume speaks for itself: 12 Pro Bowls, seven All-Pro nods, two Super Bowls, one Super Bowl MVP award, and a whole lot of defensive achievements.

The current Hall of Famer can indeed seem larger than life to someone just starting his career like Thibodeaux, and draft prospects can only dream of enjoying the same illustrious career that Lewis had.

Along with Aidan Hutchinson, Thibodeaux has put together an impressive college career that in turn sets him up for success at the highest level. As a starting-caliber edge rusher, Thibodeaux should fit well in any team, and most mocks have him going within the first five picks.

Again, the odds of him falling down to No. 10 and Baltimore trading up to nab him? Astronomically low.

Next. 14 Ravens free agents that remain unsigned by any NFL team. dark

But for Kayvon Thibodeaux to land on the team that first inspired his love for football — well, wouldn’t that be something?