New York Giants offensive line faces strong challenge to start the season

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants kick off their season tomorrow afternoon against the Denver Broncos. There is plenty of excitement surrounding the Giants this year as they spent a lot of money to improve the weakpoints of their roster this offseason. However, one weak area of the team went largely untouched. The Giants did not do much to improve their offensive line.

The New York Giants had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL in 2020. In 2020, according to ESPN, the Giants’ pass-block win rate ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. Despite this, the team made no major moves to upgrade their offensive line in the 2021 offseason, other than acquiring some quality depth pieces.

As the Giants face off against the Denver Broncos tomorrow, the game will serve as a strong challenge for New York’s offensive line – the unit that might make or break the team’s season.

The Denver Broncos defensive front

Von Miller is back for the Denver Broncos this year after missing the entirety of the 2020 season with an injury. Von Miller is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Miller is a 3x All-Pro edge rusher that will line up over the Giants’ right tackle and wreak havoc this Sunday.

Opposite of Miller is another quality pass-rusher: Bradley Chubb. The fourth-year player out of NC State has racked up 20.5 career sacks in 34 games, establishing himself as one of the best youn pass-rushers in the league. Chubb will line up over left tackle Andrew Thomas, the Giants’ fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The team has set big expectations for Thomas after he had a rookie season filled with peaks and valleys. Chubb will serve as a formidable opponent for Andrew Thomas to kick off his second season against.

Despite being banged up throughout the year, the Denver Broncos defense still managed to total 42 sacks in 2020. Keeping Daniel Jones upright and out of harm’s way is of the utmost importance this season. Jones is looking to establish himself as a franchise quarterback in 2021, but he will only go as far as his offensive line will take him. The New York Giants offensive line needs to set the tone in Week One with a strong performance against a formidable defense.

Report: Why Giants’ Andrew Thomas struggled considerably in final pre-season game

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants’ final preseason game of the off-season against the New England Patriots didn’t go as planned. Second-year left tackle Andrew Thomas had a problematic outing, allowing one sack, one hit, one hurry, and three pressures over 39 snaps. His unfortunate performance drew plenty of negative responses from the fan base and media, justifiably so.

However, Thomas was dealing with something that clearly hampered him against the Patriots, as he eyes a healthier Week 1 against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com spoke with Andrew Thomas’s personal mentor, who revealed an interesting piece of information:

“You really have to know the reason why he came out looking sluggish,” said Kevin Johnson, Thomas’ mentor. “He could hardly breathe. One thing I told him was: ‘You’ve got guts, and you’ve got cajones, because most guys would fold.’ Most guys would say: ‘All right, I’m not playing.’”

Considering the fact that Thomas played sick in the game, one might come to the conclusion that he is stronger than previously advertised after the difficult performance. Last season, Thomas struggled due to an ankle injury and a rotation of offensive line coaches — queue the Marc Colombo V Joe Judge Rocky music. He allowed 10 sacks, 39 hurries, and 57 pressures over the course of the season. However, he had a few stellar outings, notably against the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks, where he didn’t allow any sacks or pressures on Daniel Jones.

It is clear that Thomas is capable of being a quality player but simply needs more continuity and to work on his base fundamentals, like staying square and landing jabs on opposing pass rushers. He will have a tough test in Week 1 against Von Miller and the Broncos, who have one of the more experienced and dangerous pass rushers in the game.

The Giants’ offense relies entirely on the success of the line, so Thomas taking a step forward is essential if Daniel Jones wants to develop his game and coin himself the franchise quarterback of the team moving forward.

However, it should provide some sense of optimism, knowing that Thomas played through an illness that hurt his ability to breathe and play at full speed. Of course, we would like to alleviate the excuses and have him at 100%.

Judge did indicate this week that the outside assessment on players can often be wrong, which was the case for the Georgia product:

“It’s funny, sometimes the assessments on the outside don’t really have the entire picture at hand and understanding all the other 10 pieces that go together,” Judge said. “So, you’ve got to take that with a grain of salt sometimes when you read certain things. Now look, everyone can play better. I can coach better, a player can play better. That’s why we’re here today practicing. If it was a finished product, we’d just sit on the side and just relax. We’re all here to get better today.”

New York Giants: Andrew Thomas responds to criticism of preseason performance

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

This season is make or break for New York Giants tackle Andrew Thomas. While it will only be Thomas’ sophomore season in the league, his performance in year one failed to live up to the expectations of many and made it look like the Giants overdrafted him when better performing players were available. There’s not going to be much patience from the fans and media for Thomas to turn it around, and that bounce back must begin in the early season this year when the Giants face multiple tough defenses.

Despite all the pressure, Thomas is still confident in his abilities. He said as much while talking to reporters on Monday, when the matter of his preseason performance came up.

When asked if the preseason game against the Patriots was a fair indicator of where his game is right now, Thomas disagreed with the idea.

“I wouldn’t say that. I would say I had a long camp, a lot of practices, a lot of good practices. Didn’t play in the Browns game, but I’ve been working hard in training camp and I think I’m prepared for the season,” Thomas said.

Thomas did indeed make mistakes in the performance, which will surely be highlighted by the Broncos’ pass rushers in week 1. However, he also claimed that some of those mistakes have already been addressed in practice.

He described the performance as more of a learning experience than a step backwards.

“I wouldn’t say necessarily a step backwards, but definitely a learning experience. Like I said, I went back over the tape, (and) corrected some things going into the season.”

Major expectations on Thomas in week 1

Like last season, an undermanned New York Giants offensive line will have to go up against some intimidating defenses early in the season with a lot on the line. This time, the season is opening against the Broncos and the matchup at hand is particularly unforgiving for Andrew Thomas.

Thomas is faced with a Broncos pass rush including Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, posing a similar challenge to some of the tough defenses that he faced in the early run of games in his rookie season.

It seems like Thomas has more or less been unlucky throughout his career, being handed a tough schedule to start his rookie year with in 2020 and also playing with an injury. Despite that, the crucial nature of his position means that the expectations are just as high even if Thomas has understandable reasons to struggle.

While you can’t judge a season from one game, the one this weekend will definitely make an impression in one way or another that lasts for weeks after the game has happened. We won’t know until after the game on Sunday if that impression is a positive or negative one.

New York Giants: Evaluating each starting offensive lineman’s performance in final pre-season game

new york giants, daniel jones

The New York Giants might’ve walked away from their final preseason game of the off-season with more questions than answers. The starting offense was without several key playmakers, including Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Saquon Barkley, and Kyle Rudolph. With that being the case, quarterback Daniel Jones once again operated with less than stellar starting talent, but it was the offensive line that put him in harm’s way more often than not.

With the OL being the biggest concern, it was disappointing to see several poor performances that led to Jones either running from pass rushers or being thrown to the ground. There were some positives in the trenches, but two glaring weaknesses at tackle stand out.

Evaluating each starting offensive lineman in New York Giants’ final pre-season game:

LT: Andrew Thomas

Most entered Sunday’s game against the Patriots with a common belief, Andrew Thomas had taken a step forward this off-season. While some might stand by that assessment, Thomas was completely destroyed in pass protection, allowing a sack, a quarterback hit, one QB hurry, and three pressures over 39 snaps. Altogether, Thomas looked choppy and hesitant with his technique, indicating he was trying to stay square for as long as possible before kicking out to the edge.

“Started off a little slow. [There are] some things I’ve gotta improve on: hand placement, staying wide on my set to [create] the depth of the pocket. I’m confident. I’ve made improvements, but there’s still things I need to work on.”
This was not the encouraging performance we wanted to see from Thomas heading into the regular season, especially as Von Miller waits for him against Denver. Hopefully, he learns a thing or two and bounces back in a strong way, as most Giants fans are trembling in fear.

LG: Ted Larsen

With Shane Lemieux still sidelines, the Giants rolled with Ted Larsen at left guard to start the game. Larsen allowed a sack, QB hurry, and two pressures over 39 snaps. The 34-year-old guard will likely be supplemented by Lemieux in Week 1, but gaining essential chemistry during the preseason is necessary for positive growth. The Giants can’t possibly rely on Larsen as a starting guard, so this evaluation views him as a depth piece and nothing more.

C: Nick Gates

While the negative performances undoubtedly littered the field, center Nick Gates had a solid outing, dominating as a run blocker primarily. Per PFF, Gates was hit with two QB hurries and two pressures recorded, but he looked solid nonetheless.

Gates is one of the more consistent linemen for the Giants, and they expect him to lock down the center role for the 2021 season. Gates improved as the 2020 campaign went on, so I expect something similar moving forward as the regular season is just two weeks away.

RG: Will Hernandez

Of all the offensive linemen for the Giants on Sunday, Will Hernandez looked the best. He earned an 87 overall grade, per PFF, declining to give up a sack, QB hit, or pressure. Overall, he was the best looking lineman for the Giants and would’ve been for most teams. You never want to hear an offensive lineman’s name too often during a contest, and Hernandez was essentially a ghost. Putting together a few performances like this will get the coaching staff excited, but unless the rest of the OL can take a developmental step forward, they’ll once again be pulling Daniel Jones under pressure.

RT: Nate Solder/Matt Peart

Nate Solder enjoyed 20 snaps at right tackle in the loss to the Patriots, and during that time, he allowed a sack and pressure. While he served adequately as a run blocker, this was Solder’s first action of the preseason, and he was always going to experience a few bumpy snaps.

Overall, the right tackle spot is currently enjoying a position battle between Solder and the Peart. At this point, I would give Peart the slightest advantage, having allowed one QB hit and pressure over 32 snaps. The Giants would prefer to have their youngsters starting a tackle come Week 1, but they need to be comfortable with the idea that Daniel Jones may be under a bit of pressure at times.

3 players to watch in New York Giants V Cleveland Browns pre-season game

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

After falling to the New York Jets in the first preseason game of the season, the New York Giants are looking to bounce back on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Having hosted joint practices in Cleveland, the Giants have their fair share of positives and negatives.

Big Blue is expected to rest wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay and will also be sitting running back Saquon Barkley. With three of the team’s primary offensive weapons failing to make a preseason appearance due to injury, they will all target the final game of the off-season to add some live action against the New England Patriots next week. For now, with roster cuts quickly approaching, the Giants are gauging the value of bubble players.

Nonetheless, preparing the starters for a grueling 17-week regular season is essential, so let’s take a look at several players we should keep an eye on against Cleveland.

Three players to watch in New York Giants V Cleveland Browns pre-season game:

1.) Andrew Thomas

Left tackle Andrew Thomas is going into his second professional season, and he has looked far better this training camp compared to his rookie campaign. Most reports regarding Thomas have been positive, as he stood out against the Browns in joint practices. ESPN coined Thomas, a second-year breakout candidate, and he is living up to expectations thus far in camp, but live-action is an entirely different ball game.

Last week against the Jets, Thomas was on the field for 18 snaps, successfully stopping any pass rushers from generating pressure on the quarterback. He will be looking to produce a second consecutive positive performance and based on his practice this week, that should be the expectation.

2.) Azeez Ojulari

The Giants’ 50th overall pick in the most recent draft class was Georgia stand out pass rusher Azeez Ojulari. After dealing with a minor injury to open camp, Ojulari has showcased his abilities the past few days.

Shedding massive left tackle Mekhi Becton to make a play in the running game last week against the Jets stood out, and he’ll be looking to gain a little bit more exposure against Cleveland. With a solid offensive front, Ojulari dominated tackle Jedrick Wills at times on Friday, forcing a defensive holding and getting into the backfield for a sack on Baker Mayfield.

Ojulari led the SEC last season in sacks and forced fumbles, and he will be looking to roll his success over to the NFL. While it will take him some time to adapt to the physicality and speed, Ojulari will immediately be used as a pass rusher. He’s an expected starter to open the year at this point in the off-season. Another solid outing against Cleveland would further cement that expectation.

3.) Daniel Jones

There is plenty of anticipation revolving around quarterback Daniel Jones and his first action of the preseason on Sunday. It is yet to be known if he will take the field, but Jones could use the reps and a full series to get his legs working. While live-action drills during practice are beneficial, the emotion and feel of a live NFL game are quite different, and with Patrick Mahomes enjoying few snaps against the Cardinals on Friday, it is fair to imagine the Giants will approach Jones similarly.

The hopeful franchise quarterback has had his fair share of ups and downs this training camp but had a stellar outing against Cleveland on Friday, picking them apart in red-zone drills and finding his receivers routinely. He connected with TE Evan Engram several times up the seam and hit Darius Slayton on numerous occasions in the end zone.

He seems to be more comfortable in the pocket, but Jones will only go as far as the offensive line takes him, and the Giants are still nervous about allowing too much pressure and potentially putting him in harm’s way. Allowing him to take a few snaps shouldn’t curate too much fear, as sooner rather than later, the Giants are going to have to test things in real-time.

New York Giants: Andrew Thomas named as second year breakout candidate

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants are likely expecting a quick increase in quality from Andrew Thomas this season, after drafting the second year left tackle number four overall in 2020. The Giants bet on Thomas as the safest option out of a number of offensive line prospects, and were paid back with up and down results throughout the season as Thomas was initially considered a bust by many before starting to raise his play.

But to keep up with some of the other members of the same draft class, and justify the Giants taking him in the top five, Thomas will have to take a further step forward in 2021. What are the odds of that happening? Well, ESPN is confident enough in Thomas improving to list him with 15 second year breakout prospects.

Thomas came in at number 11, and as the second tackle to appear on the list.

11. Andrew Thomas, OT, New York Giants

Pick in 2020 draft: No. 4

It was a tale of two seasons for Thomas, whose head was spinning after the first few weeks of his rookie campaign. Only one tackle recorded a worse pass-blocking grade through Week 7 than Thomas, who sat at an abysmal 45.3 mark. He allowed pressure at 14% clip in those seven games — 3.5 percentage points worse than anyone else at the position.

Criticism abounded, but Thomas stuck with it and put together a solid second half of the season. His 63.5 pass-block grade from Week 8 on was a huge upgrade and showed that he could succeed at the NFL level. He cut his pressure rate by more than half, dropping all the way to 6.1%. There’s reason to believe he can continue down that path and make another solid jump in 2021.

Rating Thomas’ chance of improvement this season

There looks to be a good chance that Thomas improves this year. While it wasn’t mentioned in the ESPN article, one major problem last season was an ankle injury. This only became news during the offseason as we found out in January that Thomas underwent ankle surgery.

Given that, and how Thomas was quickly thrust into the fire against high level pass rushers, and how the offensive line coach position was quite unstable for the Giants last season, it’s not hard to see why Thomas struggled.

Much of the Giants fanbase will still have bad memories fresh in their minds from the franchise drafting Ereck Flowers highly before moving on from the player as a bust. But with Thomas, it’s easier to point to clear reasons why the start of his rookie season wasn’t successful.

As those reasons don’t seem to be particularly long term or attitude related, there’s reason for optimism. As the Giants head into Thomas’ second season with him largely undisputed as a starting tackle, that’s likely what the coaching staff is also betting on.

New York Giants: Can Andrew Thomas have a career similar to All-Pro OT Lane Johnson?

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants spent the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on left tackle Andrew Thomas. Last offseason, the Giants made it a point of emphasis to upgrade their offensive line. They drafted Thomas in the first round, offensive tackle Matt Peart in the third round, and offensive guard Shane Lemieux in the fifth round.

Despite this, the Giants still had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last season. In 2020, according to ESPN, the Giants’ pass-block win rate ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. New York’s hefty investments in their offensive line did not pay off in year one.

High expectations were set for Andrew Thomas after the Giants made him a top-five draft pick last year. Unfortunately, Thomas failed to live up to those expectations for the majority of the year. But when comparing Andrew Thomas’s shaky rookie season to that of an All-Pro offensive tackle within the NFC East, there are reasons for long-term optimism.

Comparing Andrew Thomas’s rookie season to Lane Johnson

The stats on Andrew Thomas’s rookie season leave quite a lot to be desired. Thomas was drafted with the hope that he would step in and secure second-year quarterback Daniel Jones’s blindside, reducing the amount of unseen pressure that the young signal-caller would be forced to endure. However, the amount of pressure Daniel felt sky-rocketed.

In 2020, Andrew Thomas gave up 14 more pressures (57) than any left tackle in the league and also surrendered more sacks (10) than anyone at the position (PFF). This sounds terrible but does not necessarily mean Andrew Thomas will be a bust. These stats are actually quite comparable to those of Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro offensive tackle Lane Johnson’s rookie season.

Screen-Shot-2021-07-20-at-10.28.49-AM-300x113.png.webp

Somehow, Andrew Thomas and Lane Johnson’s rookie season statistics are identical. The only difference between the two is that Johnson played five more pass-block snaps in 2013 than Thomas did in 2020. Both of these tackles were the fourth overall pick in their respective draft classes.

Like Andrew Thomas, Lane Johnson entered the NFL with high expectations as a top-five pick. Johnson failed to meet those expectations as he struggled throughout his rookie season, just like Thomas. Lane Johnson went on to have a wildly successful NFL career that includes three Pro Bowl selections and a First-Team All-Pro selection. There is no reason to believe that Andrew Thomas, being as talented as he was coming out of Georgia, can’t have a similar career turnaround.

New York Giants send multiple players to OL Masterminds summit

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The offensive line has been one of the biggest problem areas for the New York Giants in recent seasons. This year, the Giants will try again to get it right. That process will likely include an offseason position battle at the right tackle position, and it will also require a step forward from Andrew Thomas in his second season.

Another part of the process is offseason training, and the offensive line also seems to be on top of that. The Giants had several players in attendance at the OL Masterminds summit, on top of their usual training.

It’s the fourth edition of the summit, which has become an annual event and features some of the bigger names at the position sharing expertise. In recent years, events like this have become more common in the NFL. After the OL Masterminds summit proved the concept, a similar ‘Tight End University’ began this offseason and had multiple Giants attending.

The players from the Giants specifically that were in attendance were Will Hernandez, Nick Gates, and Andrew Thomas. Hernandez in particular likely has a lot to gain from the extra training, as the popular narrative about him falling out of favor with the arrival of the new coaching staff seems to be true.

Thomas, on the other hand, has a more secure position but has higher expectations as the much higher draft pick and the player the Giants are trusting at left tackle.

If there’s one thing this says, though, it’s that the team’s roster this season isn’t just waiting around to improve through training camp. We’ve seen multiple position groups take proactive steps like training on their own, and in a high pressure season like this one, that could make a big impact in the results that are to come.

New York Giants should roll into 2021 season with young starting offensive tackle duo

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart

The New York Giants tried their hardest to rebuild their offensive line last offseason. They drafted three hog mollies in the 2020 NFL Draft, including offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the first round. Despite these efforts, the Giants’ offensive line was still one of the worst in the league last season.

The New York Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below.

Entering 2021, the team has not made many positive changes to the line to improve the unit. They cut their best lineman, veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler, and failed to replace him. Not a single offensive lineman was drafted by the Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the only lineman they signed in free agency was a replacement-level starter in Zack Fulton. However, the team is getting Nate Solder back this year after he opted out of the 2020 season.

Most fans and analysts have a bleak outlook on the Giants’ offensive line heading into this season. But there are reasons for optimism. In particular, the Giants’ young duo of offensive tackles from the 2020 NFL Draft should bring the team some hope as they potentially take over as starters this year and improve the unit’s performance level.

Andrew Thomas solidified at left tackle

The Giants have a serious breakout candidate for the 2021 NFL season in their second-year left tackle Andrew Thomas. There was a lot to like in Thomas’s 2020 rookie campaign, however, there were plenty of struggles throughout the year that held him back. Andrew Thomas allowed 10 sacks, the most of any tackle in the league last season. But after allowing three or more pressures in eight of the Giants’ first eight games in 2020, Andrew Thomas allowed three or more pressures in only three of the Giants’ last eight games (PFF).

Could Nate Solder return as right tackle?

Andrew Thomas is the Giants’ starting left tackle this season, no question. What has been questioned, though, is who will start at right tackle? Some fans think veteran Nate Solder should return to the starting lineup. The Giants signed Solder to a record-breaking contract in 2018. He started at left tackle for two seasons before opting out last year. Solder never really lived up to the expectations of his contract, giving the Giants below-average play at left tackle for two years.

Solder could potentially bounce back at right tackle this season. But there are factors working against that situation becoming a reality. Firstly, Nate Solder is 33-years-old and has not played football in over a year. Secondly, Nate Solder played right tackle for one year as a rookie in 2011. Since then he has played left tackle every year. Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

Why Matt Peart should be the Giants’ starting right tackle

For these reasons, many fans believe the Giants should roll into 2021 with a young starting offensive tackle duo. That is where second-year tackle Matt Peart comes into the equation. Peart was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the second tackle that the Giants selected in his class. Peart was limited playing time in 2020, but he did impress when he was on the field.

Matt Peart was meant to finish the season as the Giants’ starting right tackle, but injuries kept him off the field as a starter. Instead, the Giants rotated Peart onto the field to give him some game experience.

According to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, the New York Giants coaching staff “is high on Matt Peart, who will be given the first shot at the starting right tackle job.” Matt Peart was impressive as a rookie, albeit in a small sample size. Peart played 150 snaps for the Giants’ offense in 2020. Ten of those snaps came in jumbo formations where Peart lined up as a tight end. 37 of those snaps came at left tackle. The other 103 snaps came at right tackle.

Ultimately, New York decided that Matt Peart is their right tackle of the future. Peart posted a 69.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade as a rookie, allowing only 9 pressures on 84 pass-blocking snaps. He did not see any time as a full-time starter in 2020, but that will change in 2021 as Matt Peart assumes the starting right tackle position. The Giants are confident in what they have at both right and left tackle. The young duo of Matt Peart and Andrew Thomas should be the bookends on the Giants’ offensive line for a long time.

New York Giants: Why Andrew Thomas is a breakout candidate in 2021

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants invested a plethora of assets into their offensive line last offseason. However, these investments have yet to pay off as the Giants possess one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines. The New York Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below.

The Giants’ biggest investment into the offensive line last season was their first-round draft pick. New York spent the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas. In his rookie season, the Giants did not exactly receive the return on their investments that they had hoped for. Thomas struggled greatly as a rookie while other first-round offensive tackles from the 2020 impressed and established themselves as quality starters. Still, the Giants have a lot relying on Andrew Thomas entering 2021, and there are reasons to believe he will turn it around and breakout this season.

Why Andrew Thomas could breakout in 2021

In his rookie 2020 campaign, Andrew Thomas allowed 10 sacks, the most of any tackle in the league. He struggled greatly in pass protection, causing many to second guess the Giants’ first-round draft choice. However, there are still reasons to believe that Andrew Thomas is a franchise left tackle. His improvements in the second half of the 2020 season are encouraging and could foreshadow a breakout 2021 season.

After allowing three or more pressures in eight of the Giants’ first eight games in 2020, Andrew Thomas allowed three or more pressures in only three of the Giants’ last eight games (PFF). Andrew Thomas earned just one PFF pass-blocking grade below 59.0 over the second half of the season, whereas every single outing before Week 8 fell below that mark. Outside of one disastrous game against Arizona, his pass-blocking grade was above 70.0 from Week 8 onwards (PFF).

Andrew Thomas’s ability to improve his play over the second half of the season is especially impressive considering the terrible circumstances he was dealing with. The Giants’ offensive line had no continuity last year. Will Hernandez started the first eight games next to Andrew Thomas at left guard, then Shane Lemieux started the second eight games at that position. Additionally, the Giants fired offensive line coach Marc Colombo midseason. A midseason coaching change is always a difficult challenge to overcome, but even moreso for a rookie offensive tackle playing injured.

Andrew Thomas had ankle surgery after the 2020 season wrapped. Thomas’s ankle injury had bothered him for a while and he managed through the pain to finish the season. But the injury was something that hindered Andrew Thomas’s performance last season and needed to be taken care of this offseason. Looking ahead to the 2021 season, Thomas will be healthy and better coached. He finished the 2020 season strong despite playing injured. There is no reason why Andrew Thomas cannot breakout in 2021 and prove himself to be a worthy top-ten pick.