Giants Rookie Among Top Prospects Doubted to Start: ‘It’s Not Going to Happen’

NFL Agent doesn't believe that Andrew Thomas, fellow 1st-round tackles can come in and start Day 1

Getty Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas

When the New York Giants used the 4th-overall selection in this past April’s NFL Draft on Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, the assumption was that Big Blue found themselves what they believe to be a franchise offensive tackle.

Typically in the NFL, franchise offensive tackles don’t spend much time learning from the sidelines. However, one NFL agent believes that the lack of OTAs this season will greatly damper Thomas and his fellow 1st-round tackles’ chances of starting out of the gate.

“I explained to one of my clients, ‘It’s not going to happen anymore — you can’t walk into an NFL training camp on Aug. 1 as an offensive lineman and start for an NFL team, it’s just impossible,’ ’’ the agent whom currently represents numerous offensive linemen told The New York Post.

“First you need to learn the playbook, which is in a different language than you even know. And then everything else has to come into play,” the agent explained.

“Now these five [rookie] offensive tackles who are considered bona fide, walk-in Day 1 starters, Pro Bowl quality players, now they can’t walk in and start, probably,” the agent stated, likely pointing towards Thomas, as well as fellow 1st-rounders Jedrick Wills Jr., Mekhi Becton, Tristan Wirfs, etc.

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Thomas Will ‘Have to Knock the Rust Off’ for Potential Transition to RT

The agent didn’t stop there, asking The Post’s Paul Schwartz, “Depending on the team, you starting a left tackle that’s played a few weeks of practice in the NFL to protect Baker Mayfield’s back?’’

Well in New York’s case, the role of protecting  Daniel Jones’ backside will likely be manned by veteran tackle Nate Solder. Meaning Thomas will, as noted by Schwartz, be “expected to land” at the right tackle spot in his rookie campaign, a position he has past experience with, but will need to relearn on the go in a limited offseason.

“He’ll have to knock the rust off,’’ national scout for Ourlads’ Scouting Services, Dan Shonka, told The Post of Thomas, who last played RT during his freshman season at Georgia. “That’s one bad thing about not having OTAs. The steps are different when you go left to right, right to left, you’re in a different stance but he’s smart enough and athletic enough to make the switch.’’

Nate Solder’s decreasing efficiency and excessive salary likely has the veteran tackle playing on borrowed time in New York. With that said, he’s still expected to be part of the roster for the 2020 season at the very least.

Also, for all Solder’s faults, he still remains one of Big Blue’s better offensive lineman on the roster. The Giants will do what they need to put forth the best starting-five they can in hopes of keeping Daniel Jones upright.

That likely means having Thomas kick off his NFL career on the right side, rather than teaching the old dog (Solder) new tricks.

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