Impressive performances can be relative as New York Giants star linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux learned when he recently had a humbling conversation with Lawrence Taylor.

In only his second NFL season, Thibodeaux racked up 11.5 quarterback sacks. The total ranked No. 12 in the NFL and put Thibodeaux in the All-Pro conversation.

But Taylor didn't praise Thibodeaux during the team's “A Night with Legends” event.

“I mean, L.T. (Lawrence Taylor) back there, man,” Thibodeaux said on stage. “Just him, Michael Strahan, Carl Banks, Osi Umenyiora. When you've got a guy like L.T., right, we just kind of exchanged in the back and he's like, ‘Man, how many sacks did you have last year?' And I'm like, ‘Oh, I had 11.5. Pretty good.' He's like, ‘What'd you play? Three games?'

“When you've got those shoes to fill, you have no choice but to be great. I've got the greatest guys to look up to, and now I just continue to set goals and accomplish them.”

Taylor's official total of 132.5 sacks ranks No. 2 on the Giants' all-time list. Taylor's 9.5 sacks as a rookie didn't count because the league didn't consider it a statistic until 1982. Therefore, another player Thibodeaux mention, Michael Strahan, holds the mark with 141.5.

With numbers in the stratosphere, it's easy to see why someone like Taylor can boast. At his current pace, it would take over 18 years in the league for Thibodeaux to pass those Giants greats.

And the Giants' single-season mark is even more difficult to obtain. Strahan holds the NFL record with 22.5 sacks, which he racked up in 2001. Pittsburgh Steelers' standout matched that total in 2021.

Kayvon Thibodeaux a big part of Giants' 2024 plans

Kayvon Thibodeaux of the Giants pressures Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford

The Giants grabbed Kayvon Thibodeaux with the No. 5 overall pick in 2022. He totaled 49 tackles, six for loss, with four sacks and 13 quarterback hits while playing in 14 games.

Thibodeaux was fourth in the NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, finishing behind cornerback Sauce Gardner (New York Jets), defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (Detroit Lions) and cornerback Riq Woolen (Seattle Seahawks).

In 2023, Thibodeaux turned things up a notch. He had 50 tackles with 12 for loss while totaling 16 quarterback hits to go along with the 11.5 sacks.

It wouldn't be surprising to see Thibodeaux's numbers rise again during the 2024 campaign. One of the biggest reasons is the Giants traded for edge rusher Brian Burns. New York sent second- and fifth-round picks to the Carolina Panthers, and signed Burns to a five-year extension worth $150 million. Of that big package, $87.5 is guaranteed money.

The presence of Burns on the defensive line will allow Thibodeaux more unfettered access to opposing quarterbacks. Burns totaled 46 sacks for the Panthers and earned Pro-Bowl honors twice.

Also helping matters for Thibodeaux in the presence of Dexter Lawrence, who has totaled 12 sacks over the last two seasons. Lawrence also earned All-Pro honors in back-to-back years.

And there's always the hope for Giants fans that Taylor's slight will motivate Thibodeaux into having a breakthrough season and move to the top of the NFL's elite list of pass rushers. He's not far away from a top-1o appearance, where he would join names like Watt, Trey Hendrickson (Bengals), Josh Allen (Jaguars), Khalil Mack (Chargers) and Micah Parsons (Cowboys.)