Certain players are perfect for certain coaches. The pairing of rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and new Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale?
Made for each other.
“If Wink were to create an outside linebacker in a lab, it would be Kayvon Thibodeaux,’’ new Giants outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins said Thursday, after an organized team activity practice. “He has all the skill sets you look for. He can be a dominant edge-setter, an explosive, violent, relentless pass rusher and everything else you see that is required of the package. All those things combined, it’s such a good fit for us and he has just taken it and run with it.”
Wilkins was with the Ravens the past 12 years and worked with Martindale the past 10 — long enough to know precisely what Martindale wants in an outside linebacker. The Giants used their first NFL draft pick in the Joe Schoen-Brian Daboll era on Thibodeaux, taking him at No. 5 overall out of Oregon.
“He was Drew’s No. 1 guy and he was my No. 1 guy coming out of the process,’’ Martindale said. “I’ve loved him since Day 1.’’
The Giants did more work on Thibodeaux than any other player in the lead-up to the draft. They certainly investigated the claims and concerns that Thibodeaux, with an outsized personality, was more concerned about building his own brand than helping a team with his play on the field.
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“The brand I saw was a hard-working, humble, dominant football player,” Wilkins said. “That was the brand we all recognized here at the Giants that would fit with us.”
Wilkins said not long ago, he was out at a comedy club in Manhattan with his wife on a Saturday night and received several texts from Thibodeaux, asking about specific assignments in the new playbook he was issued.
Thibodeaux was working on the side during Thursday’s OTA, wearing a red no-contact jersey but Daboll did not sound concerned.
There were pick-six interceptions of Daniel Jones in practice by Xavier McKinney and Adoree’ Jackson, but neither was Jones’ fault, as there was a slip by a wide receiver and a bobble by a receiver. … Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin visited the facility recently. “A good resource to have obviously in the spot that I’m in right now,’’ Daboll said, adding, “That’s why I’m out here 10 minutes early.’’
RB Saquon Barkley became the first member of his family to become a college graduate. He earned his undergraduate degree in communications this spring from Penn State, four years after leaving the school.
“It feels amazing,” Barkley told the team’s website. “It’s something that my mom and dad always wanted me to do and accomplish. When I left Penn State, one of the things coach [James] Franklin told me is, if I wanted to leave early, I had to come back and get my degree. I only had a couple of classes left. I thought it would be good to go back and get my degree. Obviously, I had a lot of ups and downs with injuries and stuff, so I had more free time to get some stuff done — sadly.”
Scuffles in OTAs are rare, but one took place when OT Korey Cunningham and LB Quincy Roche exchanged punches. … DB Jordan Mosley was waived.