Giants select Andrew Thomas with No. 4 pick in NFL Draft – New York Post,

Giants select Andrew Thomas with No. 4 pick in NFL Draft – New York Post,


The Giants finally made the investment they needed to make and just like that, the football lives of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley are greatly enhanced and, just maybe, a whole lot more pleasant and productive.

In an unprecedented all-remote NFL Draft , the Giants got back to the basics Thursday night, using the No. 4-overall pick to select Andrew Thomas, a physically desirable and technically strong left tackle from Georgia.

“I’ve always kind of gotten a chuckle out of people saying,‘ You draft a quarterback, you got to get him weapons, ’’ general manager Dave Gettleman said. “No, you don’t draft a quarterback and then get weapons. Once you draft a quarterback you get guys in front of him who will keep him upright.

“This is an important piece for us in Daniel’s development, and Saquon as well. Don’t forget the running part of it. And he is a hell of a run blocker. ’’

Isaiah Simmons, the do-everything Clemson linebacker, was on the board but the Giants were unwilling to pass on their top- rated offensive lineman. By taking Thomas, they passed on the other top tackles, Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs and Mekhi Becton .

“All of ’em got great traits, they’re all going to be tremendous pros,’ ‘head coach Joe Judge said,“ but we did what was best for the Giants. ”

Gettleman was more than willing to trade down a few spots in order to gain additional draft picks, though he was unwilling to drop too far and lose out on one of his top-rated tackles. Nothing materialized.

Andrew Thomas Giants No. 4 NFL Draft 2020Andrew Thomas Giants No. 4 NFL Draft 2020 Andrew Thomas Getty Images

“We had conversations but everyone was touchy-feely, yes, maybe, no. There were no firm offers anywhere, ’’ Gettleman said. “There was nothing that made me look at [co-owner] John Mara and Joe and say,‘ Let’s trade back and let’s get some more picks. ’There really wasn’t much there.’

There was oh-so-much talk about the depressing state of the Giants offensive line, a unit that was front-and-center in the failures of a franchise that lost an NFL-high games the past three years. When Gettleman took over two years ago as general manager, he vowed to “fix’ ’the offensive line. Two years later, he finally made good on that promise.

Gettleman in his first two drafts running the show for the Giants took Barkley, a running back, and Jones, a quarterback, with his first-round picks and watched as the Giants won a total of nine games the past two seasons. With the addition of Thomas, perhaps the holes will open more widely for Barkley and the pocket will stay clean longer for Jones.

“I’ll do my best to help protect the quarterback and open up lanes,’ Thomas said, wearing a Giants hat at his Georgia home. “It’s a blessing to be able to play with guys as talented as they are.”

Giants’ NFL Draft tracker: Live round-by-round picks and analysis

Thomas is widely considered the most “pro-ready’ ’player to move into an immediate starting role as a left tackle. He has the prototype long arms and length. Thomas started 23 games as a freshman at right tackle and started the past two years at Georgia on the left side. He is considered to be an outstanding run blocker and allowed only one sack this past season.

Judge said Thomas will begin his NFL career working on both the left and right side. With expensive and underperforming Nate Solder returning, Thomas can slip in immediately at right tackle and, if necessary, transition over to the left side in 2021 if Solder does not return. Or else, the Giants could move Solder to right tackle and start Thomas at left tackle, although moving Solder, entering his th NFL season, to an unfamiliar spot is probably not wise.

“Everyone’s going to come in Day 1 and compete and as they shake out, whoever demonstrates being the starter at whatever position, that’s where they’ll fall,’ ’Judge said. “No preconceived notion. This is not a finish line for [Thomas], this is a starting point. ’

The Redskins with the No. 2-overall pick took defensive end Chase Young. Two picks later, the Giants selected a player tasked with blocking him. The Giants were impressed with how effectively Thomas was able to deal with the top pass-rushers in the talent-laden Southeastern Conference.

Thomas, sounding calm and low-key, said it meant something to him to be the first tackle taken.

“Definitely,’ ’he said. “I work hard every day to be the best. I don’t understand why you play this game if you don’t want to be the best. ’


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