New York Giants And 4th Overall Pick Andrew Thomas Agree To Terms

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. The Giants and Thomas are in agreement on a four-year, fully guaranteed $32.345M contract with a $21.1M signing bonus, according to Ian Rapoport.

Andrew Thomas, the three-year starter out of Georgia, is the fourth top-five pick to get his deal done. Thomas will take a physical today then sign the contract.

The New York Giants desperately needed an upgrade at offensive tackle this offseason. Last season, the Giants’ starting offensive tackles allowed a combined 96 pressures. Nate Solder accounted for 56 of those pressures and also allowed 11 sacks on the season. Andrew Thomas is now in a contractual agreement to be the Giants’ left tackle of the future.

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).

The Giants report to training camp tomorrow. New York is working to get its entire rookie draft class under contract. Sixth-round pick Cam Brown signed his rookie contract earlier today. Seventh-round pick Tae Crowder has also signed. TJ Brunson, Matt Peart, and Darnay Holmes have also agreed to terms with the Giants. There are only a few rookies left for the Giants to sign, including second-round pick Xavier McKinney. Expect to see the Giants complete these deals with their rookies very soon.

New York Giants: 5 Rookies Who Should Have an Impact in 2020

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes

The New York Giants went into the 2020 NFL Draft with quite a few needs and came out with most of them addressed. The real question is – did they get any players who could be starters or key contributors this season?

The answer is likely, yes. Here’s a list of five players that could start to play a significant role in 2020 for Big Blue.

Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle 

The Giants’ first round pick was taken fourth overall which means two things. First, he will start early on and, second, he’s going to play left tackle at some point. The Giants may love Nate Solder as a person and a teammate but the writing is on the wall. His days as a left tackle in this league are winding down if they haven’t wound down already. The plan apparently is to get Thomas on the field ASAP and then integrate him into the left tackle role. That could all happen at the same time once the Giants see that he can handle the role.

Xavier McKinney, Safety

The Giants’ second round pick was just too good a value for GM Dave Gettleman to pass on that he walked back a lucrative trade offer to take the Alabama safety. The Giants are in need of a versatile safety that can play the run, cover tight ends and put a top on the defense. In short, McKinney can do it all. With Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love the current starters, McKinney will likely supplant Love and play the stabilizing role to Peppers’ disrupter. The Giants are hoping that the McKinney/Peppers tandem will be a strong one that galvanized the defense from the back end forward.

Darnay Holmes, Defensive Back  

Gettleman has been loading up on corners and nickelbacks and was determined to get it right. He just may have done that with Holmes. Currently, the Giants have been using Grant Haley as their primary slot corner and peppering in Sam Beal and Corey Ballentine. Holmes is a cut above those players even though he has limited experience in the slot. With Holmes cemented in the slot and at nickel and free agent James Bradberry at one corner, that means that DeAndre Baker will have to fend off the others to win that second corner spot.

Shane Lemieux, Offensive Line

Lemieux was a player the Giants seem to covet intros draft. His name was not one that was on the tip of many tongues going into the draft. He is a steady interior lineman who has a nasty streak to him. His problem is that the Giants already have players with those traits at their guard spots in Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez. The plan is try Lemieux at center, a position he’s never played. Spencer Pulley is the current starter with last year’s starter, Jon Halapio, still rehabbing and unsigned. Nick Gates can play center but that is not his strongest position. If Lemieux can show any kind of talent at center in camp, there’s no doubt the coaches will get him some snaps there this season.

Carter Coughlin, Linebacker 

The Giants stole Coughlin in the seventh round. He’s a much better player than most realize. The kid turned down Urban Meyer and Ohio State to play at his hometown school, Minnesota. He is quick (4.57 speed) and has a knack for creating turnovers and making plays behind the line of scrimmage. I can see him making an impact on special teams and possibly on defense as a situational linebacker, package player.

 

 

 

2020 NFL Draft: New York Giants Address Many of Their Needs

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes

The 2020 NFL Draft was a decently deep one and almost every team came out markedly better than they went in. The New York Giants are one of those teams.

Going into the draft, they needed to address several key positions and were surprisingly successful in filling those needs. General manager Dave Gettleman wanted to fix the offensive line and selected three lineman with three of his first five picks.

The Giants needed a left tackle and had their pick of the lot at No. 4 overall. The choice of Georgia’s Andrew Thomas was the safest bet on the board, having been equally effective blocking for the run as he was protecting the passer.

“He’s played against some real quality defensive ends during his college career,”said Gettleman. “He has played big time ball in front of a lot of people. We spent a lot of time with him off the field as well, numerous conversations. We spoke to him in Indianapolis and we just feel he is ready to make this jump.”

Thomas should, at the very least, be the team’s stater at right tackle as a rookie. But you don’t draft a tackle at No. 4 to play on the right side. The thinking here is they will move Nate Solder over to the right side to make room for Thomas.

In Round Two, the Giants were looking to trade out until they realized that all of the top safety prospects were on the board at No. 36 including their top target, Alabama’s Xavier McKinney. 

“We had a first-round value on him, and we’re absolutely thrilled to get him,” said Gettleman. “He’s a great kid, he’s smart, he plays smart, he lines up the backend for us, he’s versatile, you can put him down low, he can cover tight ends, he’s got ball skills, and he’s a good tackler.”

The Giants’ depth chart at safety had Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love and there’s no way they were comfortable with that. Peppers missed the last month of the season with a fracture in his back and Love has just five NFL starts under his belt.

In Round Three, the Giants did not have their own pick (No. 68) having traded it to the Jets last October in the Leonard Wiliams deal. They did, however have a compensatory selection (No. 99) they were awarded for losing Landon Collins in free agency last March. They selected another tackle, UConn’s Matt Peart, a 6’7″ kid who is seen as a developmental prospect.

“It’s rare to describe someone as 315 pounds and skinny, but that’s what he is,” said head coach Joe Judge. “He’s an athletic guy, he has a lot of length to him. We feel good about his character and his work ethic. He’s excited to come on in here and work hard and we can’t wait to get him on the field.”

I like the pick but it’s hard to justify a rebuilding team using a third round pick on a project. The good part about this pick is that the Giants have Marc Columbo as their offensive line coach and Peart may get fast-tracked and contribute much sooner.

Round Four was a bit a a surprise but UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes was considered the best nickel corner in the draft. He’s just 5’10” but the Giants don’t care. They like what he brings to the team.

“Darnay is definitely a guy that jumps out at you,” said Judge. “He’s got good speed, he’s got real good short area quickness. He’s contributed on the defensive side of the ball, he’s had impact in the kicking game. He plays with a good edge, shows some nasty. You can see he definitely plays bigger than his size.”

We’ve heard that last part before (see: Jayron Hosley) but this time it may be true. Holmes can play the slot corner, although it will be new to him, and contribute on teams. The new regime apparently did not like what they saw from Grant Haley and others in that role.

Round Five was a surprise as well. Oregon guard Shane Lemieux was the pick and the explanation cleared up why they selected him.

“Every really good club that I have been with, the offensive line has set the tone,” Gettleman said. “This is a tough kid who plays mad. He’s big, he’s powerful, he’s a pretty good athlete. We’re excited to add him to the mix.”

Gettleman then revealed that Lemieux had been working out at center, a position the Giants are attempting to upgrade at. Either way, if Lemieux can’t cut it at center, he’ll insurance when Kevin Zeitler’s contract runs out next year.

In Round Six, the Giants selected Penn State linebacker Cam Brown (6’5″, 230), a versatile player and leader they had an inside track on.

“Sean Spencer (defensive line coach) on the staff has spoken very highly of Cam since he got here,” said Judge. “He’s also a guy that when you talk to other guys on Penn State and you hit them with who the leader on the defense is, without hesitation they all said Cam Brown. That stuck out to us. He’s been an alpha dog in the locker room and that brings the attitude we really look for on the field.”

Brown is a solid young man with a lot of on-field experience. Not sure what his role will be with the Giants other than a situational and special teams player. Not the worst pick in the world. In this environment where teams can’t meet personally with the players, it’s better to have that inside track.

The seventh round brought more defense: three LBs – Minnesota’s Carter Coughlin, T.J. Brunson of South Carolina and Georgia’s Tae Crowder – and a cornerback, Chris Williamson of Minnesota.

“I think it says a lot more about how our defensive scheme fits together,” Judge said of the linebacker picks. “That we are going to play with a lot of linebackers throughout the game. You build your defense to build two thirds of your team, that’s really your defense and your kicking game for covering kicks. These guys have a lot of impact across the board right there.”

Overall, I give this draft a B+. The only thing I thought they could have done was get themselves a big target for the passing game. This draft had a ton of big wideouts and Gettleman passed on them all. Other than that, they’ve shored up many of their weakest units.

 

For Giants’ Joe Judge, It’s All About the Team

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants could have brought in some more high-profile picks in this year’s draft than they did. Instead, they chose the right players for their mindset and system.

Head coach Joe Judge knows that in a team game such as football, you have to play as a team in order to win. That is the culture he is bringing to the New York Giants. He wants to change the recent culture where the sum of the parts has been greater than the whole.

The Giants were hung up on profiles and selling jerseys and idiotic self-promotions. That led to just 12 wins over the last three years. Under Judge, the culture will be one of team-first where no player is above the rest – a unit of 53 players all heading in the same direction.

They made some curious choices in this weekend’s NFL Draft, bypassing some dynamic talent for more staid and steady choices. Football acumen and character prevailed over raw talent and high profiles. Translation: they wanted good, loyal soldiers.

“We spent a lot of time on the character, on the traits, on the personality. Look, we’re not collecting talent, we’re building a team — and it’s important,” said Judge. “There’s a lot of good players out there. There’s not a lot of right fits and you want to find the right fits to bring into your locker room. It’s important to spend as much time with these guys as people on the front end and make sure that you’re building a culture in your locker room. I don’t want 53 independent contractors, I want one team. That’s what we have to make sure we bring in the right guys for that.”

During the draft, the Giants’ first round pick, Georgia OT Andrew Thomas made the mistake of mentioning that he wants to win a Super Bowl. Judge repeated to the media what he told Thomas after the call.

“Hey listen, this is your focus, this is what we’re building, this is what our culture here is going to be, let’s just make sure you say the right thing at the right time.” Number one, not to make yourself have any expectations you now have to meet, it’s going to be tough enough for you to go ahead and get in the rhythm of you being a pro as it is. Number two, don’t ever, the whole comparisons and predictions, just work out what you can control. Right now what you can control is showing up, doing your job day-by-day and improving and that’s it.”

Judge is laying the groundwork for the same type of culture that he worked under in New England, where the team comes first. He won’t get any resistance from his boss, general manager Dave Gettleman, a man known to cut bait on players who go rogue or outgrow their contracts.

After the draft, reporters wanted to know how these two alpha personalities got along in their first draft collaborating together.

“It was great working with Joe and at the end of the day, it’s not a Dave Gettleman decision, they are not Joe Judge decisions, they are New York Football Giants decisions,’ said Gettleman. “That’s really the way it is. It was terrific working with Joe, it was thorough, it was well done and we felt very prepared and felt we had a really good, solid draft.”

That answer wasn’t sufficient, however. Gettleman was asked how it was different than working with the other coaches he worked with in his career.

“God bless you,” he said. “We get along fine. Next question.”

New York Giants Select Oregon G Shane Lemieux With 150th Pick In The 2020 NFL Draft

With the 150th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected guard Shane Lemieux out of Oregon.

Shane Lemieux was a four-year starter for Oregon, starting 52 games at left guard. Lemieux has been referred to as a team leader who leads by example by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. He is very strong, quick for his size, and has the potential to start in the NFL. Zierlein described Shane as the prototype of a physical, blue-collar guard.

Lemieux seems to be stout in the run game but has had some struggles in pass protection. He will not be an instant starter with the New York Giants and will have time to sit behind one of the league’s best in Kevin Zeitler and develop.

Shane Lemieux is the third offensive lineman drafted by Dave Gettleman and the Giants in 2020. After drafting Andrew Thomas fourth overall, New York doubled down on the tackle position with Matt Peart with the 99th pick. Now they have added depth to the guard position with Oregon’s Shane Lemieux. He joins a young core of lineman that already had Will Hernandez and Nick Gates in place.

NFL Draft: New York Giants Luck Into Xavier McKinney

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

All good things come to those who wait and that applied to the New York Giants on Friday night in Round Two of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Giants had the 36th overall selection and were intent on obtaining more Day Two draft capital via a trade. They were just about pull the trigger on a deal when one of the most prized players of the draft – Alabama safety Xavier McKinney – fell into their laps.

“The first thing I’ll tell you is we had made up our mind that if Xavier fell to us, we were taking him,” said general manager Dave Gettleman. “So, we did have something. If Xavier had been gone, we did have a team willing to move up and we would’ve moved back. But we felt the value of getting Xavier there was just too good to pass up.”

McKinney was rated on of the nation’s top safeties but tumbled out of the first round due to concerns over his 40 time (4.63) at this year’s NFL Combine. McKinney said he was experiencing cramps on that day. The Giants saw right through that.

“It’s speculation, (but) that’s the only thing we can think of,” Gettleman said when asked if that was the real reason McKinney fell out of Round One. “Very frankly, I’ve said it to our scouts, it’s how fast does a guy play? It’s about how he carries his pads. It’s not what he does in his underwear on a track, it’s play speed. Way back in the day when San Francisco had their unbelievable run and Bill Walsh was running that club, they were not in a scouting combine. They did not care what a guy ran. They talked about play speed all the time. I think it worked pretty well for them. I am a big believer in that, it’s about how fast does a guy play. If it was just about 40-yard dash times, then we would go watch track meets.”

McKinney will be paired by the Giants with Jabrill Peppers, James Bradberry and D’Andre Baker in the starting secondary, a situation that has them salivating a bit.

“You know, it’s kind of funny. Everybody is playing so much 11 and 10 personnel and you’re in sub 55 to 70 percent of the time,” said Gettleman. “You can never have enough DBs. You know, Bradberry is young, he’s 26, I believe, or 25. Jabrill (Peppers) is young. All of these kids we drafted last year and now Xavier this year, we’re putting together, I think, a very talented young group that just has the ability to play football at the NFL level. We’ve just got to get them rolling.”

And roll they will.

 

New York Giants select OT Matt Peart with the 99th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

New York Giants, Matt Peart

With the 99th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the New York Giants select Matt Peart, offensive tackle, out of UCONN.

Matt Peart is a solid right tackle who stands in at 6 feet 7 inches and weighs 318 pounds. He is a four-year starter who grew up in the Bronx after moving to the United States from Jamaica. One of Peart’s strengths is his long arms, listed at 36 5/8”.

Peart is a little raw but a great offensive tackle prospect with a high developmental ceiling. According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Peart has nimble feet with the ability to mirror once he latches in and tons of athletic potential to work within his pass sets.

This is not an instant-impact selection for the Giants, but Peart is a potential starter down the road. He has time to learn and develop behind Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming this year and could take over at right tackle in a few short seasons. He needs to add some play-strength and refine his skill set, but working closely with offensive line coach Marc Colombo bodes well for Matthew Peart’s NFL future.

New York Giants Could Solidify Their Offensive Line Tonight By Drafting Josh Jones

New York Giants, Josh Jones, Houston

The New York Giants‘ offensive line has been among the worst in the league for the past couple of seasons. Kevin Zeitler was a huge addition to the Giants’ offensive line in the 2019 season. However, Nate Solder and Mike Remmers haven’t provided that same steady performance.

Solder’s 57 pressures allowed this season are seven more than any other player in the NFL. Solder and Remmers 97 combined pressures allowed was the most in the NFL this season (PFF). The Giants needed to address the problem of the struggling offensive line in this year’s NFL Draft and they certainly made improvements after the first round last night.

With the fourth overall pick, the New York Giants selected Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia. Thomas is an absolute freak of nature! Standing at 6’5″,  and weighing 315 Ibs, a very agile big man who has quick feet and can run and pass block against the best of the best as he did in his collegiate carrier. Thomas was no doubt the best and most pure left tackle in the draft class. This draft choice was a huge win for the Giants, giving Daniel Jones more time in the pocket, and opening up running lanes for Saquon Barkley!

What the Giants should do tonight :

The Giants hold the 36th overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft. There is still so much talent on the board. New York can’t go wrong with drafting a guy like Antoine Winfield the safety from Minnesota, or Zack Baun the linebacker from Wisconsin.

Josh Jones, OT, Houston a strong option:

The Giants could stack their offensive line by drafting Josh Jones, (OT) from Houston. Jones is another freak of nature who could potentially fill the need at right tackle for the Giants. Jones, like Thomas, is 6’5″, 319 Ibs, and is very quick out of his stance when asked to pull block. Jones does a great job of reaching the second level of blockers and improved tremendously as his season went on. Jones went from a second-round pick who would need more time to develop, to a day one starter and a potential first-round pick.

Josh Jones has excellent lateral-slide smoothness to handle mirroring duties. He is able to get to difficult reach blocks on the play-side and back-side. Both Thomas and Jones have experience at left tackle and right tackle. If Jones is drafted by Giants, expect to see the two switching sides to throw defenses for a ride. Jones may not have the footwork like Thomas does, but he makes up for it with his pure athleticism.

What The Giants should do with Nate Solder:

It’s going to be interesting to see what the Giants do with Nate Solder if they go offensive tackle in round two. The Giants could look to trade Solder for draft capital, but the problem is, who wants the guy? Solder had a season to forget in 2019 and is losing value. He allowed 11 sacks which were the second-most in the NFL this year. Jones could sit behind Solder for a year and develop, but it might be best for the Giants’ to start him from day one.

The New York Giants have a chance to fix their offensive line struggles and build a line that can be set and stone for the next seven to eight years. Adding Andrew Thomas and, hopefully, Josh Jones, will create an amazing pocket for Danny Dimes to throw the ball, and also give star running back Saquon Barkley the holes and lanes he’s been seeking for the past two seasons. For these reasons, if he manages to fall to pick thirty-six, the Giants should draft Josh Jones.

New York Giants Could Consider Trading Down In Round Two

The New York Giants secured their left tackle of the future in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. With the fourth overall pick, the Giants selected offensive tackle Andrew Thomas out of Georgia. Thomas has not allowed more than two pressures in a game since 2017 and is set to make an immediate-impact with Big Blue (statistic via PFF).

Heading into day two, there are plenty of intriguing options for the Giants to decide on. The draft board is still loaded with defensive talents, such as safety Xavier McKinney and edge rushers Zack Baun and Yetur Gross-Matos. It would be no surprise to see the Giants stay put and select a defensive prospect. But there is the possibility that New York elects to trade down.

Why Trade Down?

The Giants will be picking thirty-sixth overall today (the fourth pick of the second round). They will then have to wait until pick ninety-nine to make another selection. If the Giants stay put here, they will have sixty-three players drafted between their two selections. According to reports from the New York Post, trading down from thirty-six is something the Gmen are considering.

What Could the Giants Get From Trading Down?

The purpose of trading down from thirty-sixth overall would be to acquire an additional pick somewhere in the third round. New York traded away its original third-round selection (sixty-eighth overall) to the New York Jets to acquire Leonard Williams. It would be wise for the Giants to try to recoup a third-round selection in a trade today.

There are a few teams with multiple third-round draft picks that might look to move up in the second round. Among those teams are the Jets, the Vikings, the Broncos, the Raiders, and the Ravens. Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post put out this intriguing mock-trade scenario on Twitter:

Dunleavy’s mock-trade is a realistic possibility. If the Giants were to trade down today, they would likely be looking to acquire picks similar to the ones Ryan suggested in the third round. Trading down would allow the Giants to land an additional prospect in the third-round, a round that often sees players develop into quality NFL starters.

2020 NFL Draft: Day Two Possibilities for the New York Giants

New York Giants, Zack Baun

The New York Giants had a (virtual) banner evening at the NFL Draft on Thursday night selecting massive Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the fourth pick in the first round. Thomas was a need pick for sure but he will hopefully be a solid franchise left tackle for the next decade who will protect Daniel Jones’ blind side and open up holes for Saquon Barkley.

“I would probably say grinding it out on the ground,” Thomas said when asked what his preference is. “I definitely want to protect the quarterback, but the run game, I love it.”

That’s good news for the Giants, who plan on running the football more under new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

As Day Two of the draft approaches, the Giants hav many more needs to address. They have a good shot at doing that with the fourth pick in the second round (36th overall) but then don’t make a selection until the end of the night (No. 99 overall). That is, unless general manager Dave Gettleman swings a deal to either move up in the order or add more selections.

The Giants will be seeking several things in this draft – a safety, a center, a linebacker, a pass rusher and more targets in the passing game. At No. 36, here’s what they could be looking at.

Safety

None of the six top safeties were selected on Thursday night, so here is where the Giant could have the pick of the litter in LSU’s Grant Delpit, Xavier McKinney of Alabama, Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield, Jr., Ashtyn Davis of Cal, Jeremy Chinn of So. Illinois and Kyle Dugger of Lenoir Rhyne.

Center

LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry Matt Hennessy of Temple and Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz will all likely be on the  board.

Linebacker 

Wyoming’s Logan Wilson, Michigan’s Josh Uche, Zach Baun of Wisconsin, Alabama’s Terrell Lewis and Ohio State’s Malik Harrison are Round 2 targets.

Pass Rusher/Defensive End

Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos, A.J. Epenesa of Iowa, Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara, Marlon Davidson of Auburn, Florida’s Jabari Zuniga and Boise State’s Curtis Weaver are the top DEs in Round 2.

Receivers

Baylor’s Denzel Mims, Michael Pittman of USC, Penn State’s K.J. Hamler, Laviska Shenault of Colorado and Clemson’s Tee Higgins are Round 2 WR targets. Tight ends in this group are Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet, Adam Trautman of Dayton and Harrison Bryant of FAU.

If the Giants can’t move up in Round 2 or 3, here’s what they will likely be looking at Pick No. 99. These are some names in additional to the players who didn’t get selected in Round 2.

Safety: None new

Center: None new

Receivers: Lynn Bowden, Kentucky, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan; Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (TE)

Linebacker: Darell Taylor, Tennessee, Khaleke Hudson, Michigan

Defensive End: None new

Offensive Tackle: Ben Bartch, St. John’s (MIN)