The New York Giants have been in on Andrew Thomas for longer than you think.
The Nate Solder experiment has been a grueling one for Giants fans, as watching your quarterback get hit from behind or sacked continuously is often-time not the most enjoyable sight.
The former New England Patriot allowed the second-most sacks out of any tackle in 2019 (11), justifying the Giants’ interest in finding a replacement this offseason. Evidently, they looked to the NFL Draft to soothe their troubles, and Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas was available for the taking at No. 4.
Thomas has the highest floor of any left tackle prospect in the most recent draft class, bringing excellence in pass protection and strength in run-blocking. His core power and ability to anchor down and mirror pass rushers make him an instant plug-and-play tackle.
What does this mean for Solder?
It could mean one of two things:
- The Giants could cut him and spread his dead cap hit over the next two seasons per the new CBA
- Move him over to right tackle for what should be his final season in blue
However, the most interesting part of this transition is how long Big Blue have been looking into Thomas, according to Giants’ director of college scouting, Chris Pettit.
â€œGoing back, I was at the SEC championship game in 2018 and our southeast area scout pointed out that Andrew was going to be a good player,â€Â Pettit said, via Giants.com. â€œI noticed him there. Weâ€™ve known him for a long time. As far as him with the other class, this was a deep, deep class in tackles. I think everyone knows that. We were lucky we had the first chance of who we thought was the best tackle in the draft and we took him.â€
The consistency of Thomas’ play surely won over the hearts of management, among many other positive things.
According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, the Giants’ pick was a good one, and it boils down to his mentality and toughness in the trenches:
Thomas is a gritty player with above-average recovery talent to “get the job done” when his process breaks down. He’s a Day 1 starter who comes in well-coached and technically savvy, but occasional leaning, lunging and inconsistent knee bend in pass pro could be isolated and attacked by pass-rush wolves looking to feast if he doesn’t get those areas cleaned up.