New York Giants: Andrew Thomas entering training camp with a big question mark over his head

New York Giants, Nate Solder, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants signed all of their draft picks on Monday afternoon, finalizing a major accomplishment ahead of the start of training camp. First-round pick, Andrew Thomas, agreed to a fully guaranteed four-year deal worth $32.345 million. The contract includes a $21.1 million signing bonus.

With the Giants adding Thomas, who was a three-year starter with Georgia and played 1075 pass-blocking snaps, according to Anthony Rivardo of Empire Sports Media, they are looking to cement him at one of the tackle spots.

Reports have indicated that the Giants are considering him at right tackle to start his NFL career. This isn’t abnormal considering Nate Solder followed the same path back in 2011 with the New England Patriots. It can oftentimes be an excellent developmental move, allowing players with upside to have a transitional effect if need be. That was a primary issue with Ereck Flowers, who was confined to the left tackle spot and severely underwhelmed with talent.

Thomas is a bit undersized at left tackle, which makes him a better option on the right side. However, you don’t spend the fourth overall pick on your quarterback’s vision side. Supplementing the deficiencies of Solder was the entire premise behind drafting Thomas in the first place.

Throughout his collegiate career, Thomas only allowed 37 pressures, attesting to his incredible strength and abilities in the trenches.

What are the New York Giants getting in Andrew Thomas?

His strengths range from elite physical traits to a high football IQ, and a gritty, mean mentality. He’s not the most flexible player, which can hurt his mobility and agility when recovering. His initial moves are fantastic. He has the lower body strength to anchor down in pass protection and deliver devastating blocks in the run game.

The Giants are looking for a player to solidify Daniel Jones’s blindside and open up running lanes for Saquon Barkley. Barkley is far better at running outside of the tackles, as he struggled to get anything going between the guards in the A and B gap last season.

Barkley simply isn’t a power runner, so giving him space and time to make a decision is a more efficient move. Having strong tackles allows him to bounce the ball outside with confidence.

Entering training camp, though, new head coach Joe Judge will not pencil in any starters just yet. He wants to see his players earn the right to a starting job, so Thomas will likely be competing on both sides of the offensive line. While we know he will be a starter in 2020, it’s just a matter of where.

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