Giants Surprise Draft Pick Deemed NY’s ‘Smartest’ Offseason Move

Giants' Andrew Thomas Deemed NY's Smartest Offseason Move

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When the New York Giants opted to use the 4th-overall selection in this past month’s NFL Draft on Andrew Thomas, many outsiders were left scratching their heads.

New York has endured their fair share of criticism for taking a player who many viewed as the 4th-best offensive tackle in the class, especially with guys such as Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton and Jedrick Wills still on the board. Not to mention swiss-army knife Isaiah Simmons, as well.

However, fast forward a few weeks and the masses appear to have come around to Dave Gettleman’s roster-building approach. Many have begun to laud the team’s incoming rookie class, with Thomas being the main culprit as to why.

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Andrew Thomas is Giants’ Best Offseason Addition

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently compiled a list of Every NFL Team’s Smartest Move of the 2020 Offseason.

While free-agent addition James Bradberry and 2nd-round steal Xavier McKinney certainly deserve some love here, it was Thomas who got the nod from Knox.

New York Giants: Drafting Andrew Thomas

Using the fourth overall pick on former Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas might not have been the flashiest move the New York Giants could have made, but it was the smartest. Thomas was a true left tackle for the Bulldogs and should be able to make a quick transition to playing on the left side in the NFL.

This is important for two reasons. For one, 2019 starter Nate Solder has been a liability since joining the Giants—he was responsible for five penalties and 11 sacks in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus. As well, with poor line play in front of him, quarterback Daniel Jones has been a turnover machine.

Jones fumbled 18 times in 13 games last season, losing 11 of them. Improving Jones’ protection and his ball security have to be primary goals for New York moving forward. Adding Thomas should help on both fronts.

The Bookend Tackle Duo of Thomas & Matt Peart Offers Huge Upside

Thomas is certainly the most prestigious addition along the Giants’ offensive line this offseason. However, he’s far from the only promising prospect Big Blue has added to shore up one of the weakest position groups in football in recent memory.

While Thomas is likely to start day one at either left or right tackle, the Giants added another potential starter in 3rd-round pick Matt Peart. The 6-foot-7-inch Peart may be a bit raw, but some have argued that his upside could be ever greater than Thomas’.

Over his four seasons as a starter at UConn, Peart never once finished a year with pass-blocking grades below 75.0. His 86.0 pass-blocking grade and 90.3 run-blocking grade in 2019 were both career highs.

The additions of Thomas and Peart, as well as 5th-round pick Shane Lemieux and free-agent swing tackle Cam Fleming, gives New York arguably the most talent-filled offensive line group that they’ve had since their Super Bowl XLVI roster.