Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal sign rookie contracts

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The Giants announced they have signed six members of their 2022 draft class, including first-round selections Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal.

The team selected 11 players in the last month’s draft, its largest class since 2003. All of them are attending the rookie minicamp this weekend at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

In addition to the first rounders, the Giants also announced the signing of their three fifth-round selections – linebacker Micah McFadden of Indiana, defensive tackle DJ Davidson of Arizona State and guard Marcus McKethan of North Carolina – plus sixth-round choice Darrian Beavers, a linebacker from Cincinnati.

Thibodeaux, a 6-5, 258-pound edge rusher, played in 32 games with 21 starts in three seasons at the University of Oregon. He collected 123 tackles (82 solo), 35.5 tackles for loss, 19.0 sacks and three forced fumbles. Thibodeaux was a unanimous All-America in 2021 when he recorded a career-high 50 tackles, including 12 stops for loss and 7.0 sacks. He was a two-time, first-team All-Pac-12 selection.

Neal, a 6-7, 350-pound tackle, started all 40 games in which he played at Alabama and missed only one game in three seasons – due to a positive COVID-19 test in 2020. He demonstrated his adaptability by starting 13 games. at left guard in 2019, 12 at right tackle in 2020 and 15 at left tackle in 2021, when he was a consensus first-team All-America and first-team All-SEC.

McFadden, 6-2 and 232 pounds, played in 45 games with 31 starts for the Hoosiers. In his last three seasons, he was selected, in order, honorable mention, first-team and second-team All-Big Ten. McFadden’s career totals include 216 (149 solo) tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 14.0 sacks, four interceptions, eight passes defended and three forced fumbles. He led Indiana in tackles in each of his last three seasons. In his final year, McFadden had a career-best total of 77 stops, 49 solo, 15.5 stops for loss and 6.5 sacks.

Davidson, 6-5 and 325 pounds, played in 37 games with 28 starts in four seasons for the Sun Devils. He recorded 137 tackles (62 solo), 16.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and one fumble recovery. As a senior in 2021, he was selected second-team All-Pac 12 after finishing with career-high figures of 57 tackles (21 solo) and 6.4 stops for loss.

In four seasons, the 6-6, 325-pound McKethan played in 43 games, including 37 starts at right guard in his last 38 games (all 25 games in 2020-21). He was selected honorable mention All-ACC in each of his final two seasons. McKethan joins Joshua Ezeudu as the second North Carolina offensive lineman the Giants selected in this draft.

Beavers, 6-5 and 255 pounds, played two seasons at the University of Connecticut before transferring to play three years for his hometown Bearcats. He played in 62 games with 41 starts and started each of the 34 games in which he played for Cincinnati. Beavers’ career totals included 233 tackles (130 solo), 28 stops for loss, 14.0 sacks, six passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. In 2018, Beavers led UConn with 4.0 sacks. Two years later, he was named second-team All-AAC. In 2021, Beavers started all 14 games for a Bearcats team that participated in the College Football Playoffs. He was named first-team All-AAC after finishing with career highs of 101 tackles (47 solo) and 11.2 tackles for loss.

Five Giants draft choices remain unsigned: wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson of Kentucky (second round); third-round selections Joshua Ezeudu, an offensive lineman from North Carolina, and defensive back Cor’Dale Flott of LSU; and fourth-round picks Daniel Bellinger, a tight end from San Diego State, and safety Dane Belton of Iowa.

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