The offensive line has been one of the worst areas of the New York Giants in recent years, but that could change in 2020. The team has made a lot of strides for change in the area in the past few years and some of them have worked out – others have not. Will Hernandez returns as a starter, while Nate Solder so far has been considered an expensive bust. But the Giants have brought in multiple players this offseason to improve the position, and that includes fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas.
As a result of their moves, Pro Football Focus believes the Giants are one of the most improved offensive lines in 2020. On the PFF list, the Giants managed to make it to the number five spot, an impressive accomplishment considering the team’s recent history with the O-line.
5.Â NEW YORK GIANTS
Key Additions: TÂ Andrew Thomas, TÂ Matt Peart, GÂ Shane Lemieux
Key Losses: TÂ Mike Remmers, CÂ Jon Halapio
It was clear the Giants could use an upgrade at the tackle position after last season.Â Nate SolderÂ and Mike Remmers combined to allow 96 pressures in 2019, more than any other tackle duo in the NFL. While Solder is locked into the left tackle spot given his contract and the inability to move on without incurringÂ $16 million in dead money, right tackle was a spot that clearly could be upgraded. As the top tackle onÂ PFFâ€™s Big Board, Thomas gives them that.
He came into the SEC as a freshman in 2017 and put up a 76.7 pass-blocking grade. To perform like that as a starting tackle in a conference where he was going up against quality talent on the edge week in and week out is impressive. All Thomas did from that point was improve, earning an 80.6 overall grade in 2018 and a 92.7 grade last season for Georgia. Nearly all offensive linemen struggle in their first season in the NFL, but Thomas has as good a chance as anyone in this class to handle the transition well and provide solid play out of the gate for the Giants. That alone is enough to land them on this list.
Thomas isn’t the only player that was praised by PFF, however. As the article brings out, the Giants also added some depth in Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux at the tackle and guard positions. Depth isn’t something the Giants have had on the offensive line for years, and it helps to have alternative options for when injuries or surprise drops in performance happen. After all, the Giants found out last season just how often injuries can come.
Still, the Giants will have to succeed in games before winning everyone over fully on the subject of their line. It’s easy to get excited in the offseason about additions like these, but previous years have proven that it’s impossible to tell just from stats on paper how such additions will pan out in games.