There weren’t many silver linings for the New York Giants’ offense in 2021, but one notable performance was from left tackle Andrew Thomas. After being drafted 4th overall out of Georgia in 2020, Thomas experienced a tough rookie season in the NFL, battling an ankle injury he sustained during training camp.
Playing in all 16 games, he allowed 10 sacks, 8 QB hits, 39 hurries, and 57 total pressures. He recorded a 62.4 overall grade, including a 54.7 pass-blocking grade and 62.4 run-blocking great, per PFF.
Altogether, he was one of the worst tackles in football, but his rise to stardom was illustrious during the 2021 season, showcasing unbelievable development and growth in just one off-season.
Thomas finished allowing just two sacks, 13 hurries, and 3 QB hits over 13 games. His 82.1 pass-blocking grade showcases his growth. When Thomas was forced to miss time due to an ankle injury he sustained against the Los Angeles Rams, the Giants struggled considerably to replicate his performance.
In fact, Thomas was the only player for the New York Giants to rank in PFF’s top 101 players list from this past season.
Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas improved by leaps and bounds in Year 2 — so much so that the offensive line was noticeably worse when he was not in the lineup. The second-year offensive tackle allowed 18 pressures across 517 pass-blocking snaps in 13 games and even scored more receiving touchdowns than key receiver additions Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay.
The Giants will need Thomas to lock down their left tackle position for the foreseeable future as they continue to rebuild after firing Joe Judge and allowing Dave Gettleman to retire after the conclusion of the regular season.
With Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll in place, the expectation is that new management will try to correct Dave Gettleman’s mistakes in building the offensive line. The reality is, the Giants need a right tackle, at least one new offensive guard, and a center, given Nick Gates is unable to make a full recovery from the broken leg he sustained against Washington early last season.
This upcoming year, the Giants’ offense could look quite different, especially with nine draft selections at the team’s disposal. There’s also reason to believe the Giants will trade back in the 2022 NFL draft, acquiring more draft capital and injecting more talent into a roster that was devoid of competency on the offensive side.
When your left tackle has more touchdown receptions than your $72 million receiver and electrifying first-round rookie, you know there’s a systemic issue in place.