New York Giants: Andrew Thomas Selection Is Another Gettleman Gamble

Cay North
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We finally know which player the New York Giants will welcome into their lineup this season, and once again, the answer surprised many. Andrew Thomas of Georgia was the one that the Giants front office was the most confident in, and the team selected Thomas at number four overall rather than trading down or taking a player rated more highly by the media and other teams with needs in the offensive line department.

But, just like the Daniel Jones pick last year, this one will come with some controversy. Like Jones, Thomas isn’t the player that was popularly linked to the Giants – the more popular narrative was that the Giants’ connections to Alabama would win out and they would select dominant Crimson Tide pass rusher Jedrick Wills.

However, taking Thomas at number four overall will likely turn some people who would have been fine with the pick into critics. It’s another gamble from general manager Dave Gettleman. When everything is all said and done after the next couple of seasons, the pick might look good, and like a time when the Giants have actually hit rather than missed in the Draft. Because the team took Thomas as high as he did, though, there’s a higher chance that things won’t turn out that way.

After all, taking a player in the top five rather than trading down and taking the same player slightly later raises expectations. Thomas isn’t generally viewed as having as much upside as Jedrick Wills or Mekhi Becton, making it harder to justify taking him at the spot the Giants selected him at.

That’s not to say that Thomas isn’t worthy of being taken high in the first round by the Giants. He was one of the first prospects the team showed interest in scouting wise at the position, and his college numbers rival that of other top offensive line players in this year’s class.

But it looks like the Giants could have gotten more and still drafted Thomas, which will push expectations up for him this year.

Dave Gettleman was already widely said to be on the hot seat going into this season, with most not even thinking initially that the Giants would keep Gettleman around this year. It was a surprise to see Gettleman back for another year, and a decision of the team owners which was met with controversy. This decision will just add to that.

Likely, Gettleman will hope that Thomas performs to those now increased expectations this season. Not only because the success of the Giants will depend on, among other things, a good offensive line. But because his job is also on the line now that the Giants have spent a top five pick on his gamble.