New York Giants: Rookie OT Andrew Thomas suffering from growing pains

Anthony Rivardo
New York Giants, Andrew Thomas
Sep 14, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (78) blocks Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree (48) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants made it a point of emphasis this offseason to rebuild their offensive line. The Giants drafted three offensive linemen, signed a new offensive tackle in free agency, and gave Nick Gates a contract extension. The biggest investment of all of these being the Giants’ first-round draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

With the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected left tackle Andrew Thomas. Andrew Thomas was an excellent offensive tackle prospect out of Georgia. He was the top offensive tackle on Pro Football Focus’s draft board, but most draft boards had varying rankings on the draft’s top four offensive tackles.

Four games into the fourth pick’s career, and Giants fans are beginning to feel underwhelmed. For the other teams that selected an offensive tackle in the first round (the Jets, Browns, Dolphins, and Buccaneers), their rookie tackles have all met or exceeded expectations. Andrew Thomas has been struggling with growing pains and failing to meet expectations through the first quarter of the 2020 NFL season.

Andrew Thomas Growing Pains

According to Pro Football Focus, Andrew Thomas has allowed 3 sacks this season, tied for the most in the NFL amongst offensive tackles. His overall grade is also a 53.7, which is the worst of the top-four tackles from his draft class.

In yesterday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Thomas allowed four total pressures from 32 pass-blocking snaps, with one of them resulting in a sack (PFF). Head coach Joe Judge also recognized Andrew Thomas’s struggles:

“He’s been baptized by fire. … We’re not going to write him a pass for being a young guy or for being a rookie.” – Joe Judge on Andrew Thomas via Art Stapleton

Andrew Thomas truly has been baptized by fire, as Judge said. He has faced some serious competition to begin his career. Judge continued on, saying he has seen a lot of positives from Andrew Thomas as well.

All in all, it has been a somewhat disappointing start to Andrew Thomas’s career. But, this is a long season, and Thomas has another twelve weeks to turn it around. Additionally, a draft pick is not made to serve a one-year purpose. Andrew Thomas is destined to be the Giants’ left tackle for the next decade- he was a long-term investment. He has time to turn things around and prove he has the makings of a franchise left tackle.