New York Giants: Why Andrew Thomas Should Play Left Tackle Right Away

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

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The New York Giants invested heavily in their offensive line this offseason. The team spent three draft picks on the offensive line in the 2020 NFL Draft, including the fourth overall pick on a stud left tackle.

The Giants selected Andrew Thomas out of Georgia fourth overall because they believed he was the best left tackle in the 2020 NFL draft class. So why do some argue that he should play right tackle in 2020? He shouldn’t. The Giants should play Andrew Thomas at left tackle right away; here’s why:



Avoid Stunting Andrew Thomas’s Growth

Andrew Thomas is a left tackle. As a freshman at Georgia in 2017, Thomas was an All-American right tackle. But since 2018, Andrew Thomas has started and played all of his games efficiently at left tackle. Why should the Giants move him back to right tackle after Thomas has spent the last two years learning how to protect the blindside?

The Giants have depth at offensive tackle. They can move Nate Solder over to the right side. If Solder’s performance is even worse at right tackle, the Giants can fill either Cameron Fleming, Nick Gates, or maybe even Matt Peart into that position. There is no need to have Andrew Thomas play a position in his rookie season that he will not play for the rest of his career. The Giants should let him get comfortable on the left side and prepare for a long, productive career protecting Daniel Jones’s blindside.

Thomas Already The Best Left Tackle On The Roster

In 2019, the Giants’ quarterbacks rarely had their blindside protected. Left tackle Nate Solder struggled the entire season. Solder allowed 11 sacks according to Pro Football Focus, the third most out of any offensive tackle in the NFL. To make matters even worse, Solder allowed 57 pressures in 2019. This was the most of any offensive lineman in the NFL.

Andrew Thomas will be a rookie in 2020, and being a rookie comes with making rookie mistakes. Regardless of the performance hiccups and learning curve that Thomas will have to deal with, it is hard to imagine him being as bad in pass protection as Nate Solder was in 2019.

Andrew Thomas played 1,075 pass-block snaps in his collegiate career. On those snaps, Thomas allowed only 37 total pressures. He also has not allowed more than 2 pressures in a game since 2017 (his freshman season at right tackle). Granted, Andrew Thomas will be facing tougher competition in the NFL than he did in college. But playing in the SEC, Thomas faced plenty of pro talents and typically dominated in pass protection.

Andrew Thomas might already be the best left tackle on the Giants’ roster. Left tackle is a crucial position on offense and the Giants need to put the best man they have in that position in 2020.

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