The Athletic names Andrew Thomas, Dexter Lawrence to top 25 under 25 list
The Athletic's Mike Jones recently conducted a poll of five NFL coaches and seven front office executives, all of whom were granted anonymity, to find out the NFL's top 25 players under 25-years-old.
Two Giants found themselves in the top half of the list - offensive tackle Andrew Thomas and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence. After both players were named All-Pro last season, this should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Thomas came in at No. 12, the second-highest ranking of any offensive lineman on the list.
"As a third-year pro, Thomas surrendered just three sacks as the blind-side protector for a much-improved Daniel Jones and also played a role in Saquon Barkley's resurgence while earning second-team All-Pro honors," wrote Jones.
Originally selected fourth overall by the Giants in 2020, Thomas has played 45 games (44 starts) over his first three years in the NFL. After improving in 2021, Thomas took a significant step in his development last season. The 24-year-old recorded just two penalties all year and allowed a mere 21 total pressures, along with the three sacks mentioned above, on over 600 regular-season pass block snaps.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound left tackle was named Second-Team All-Pro by the Associated Press after starting the first 16 games (he sat out the season finale along with most of the team's starters). In addition to not missing a single game due to injury, Thomas also played 100 percent of the team's offensive snaps in all but two contests. The only snaps Thomas missed were due to games being out of hand late in the second half.
View the best photos from the career of Giants All-Pro left tackle Andrew Thomas.
Lawrence came in right behind Thomas at No. 13, which was the second-highest ranking of any interior defensive lineman on The Athletic's list.
"Lawrence thrived in Don "Wink" Martindale's defense last season, recording 7 1/2 sacks, 68 tackles (seven for a loss) and 28 quarterback hits, all career highs," said Jones. "He has established himself as one of the best young interior linemen in the game."
Lawrence enjoyed a true breakout campaign in 2022 on his way to being named Second-Team All-Pro. His new career-highs in sacks and quarterback hits shattered his previous high marks of 4.0 sacks and 11 QB hits. The fifth-year defensive lineman was voted to the Top 100 Players of 2023 by his peers for the first time in his career, landing all the way up at No. 28.
He also set new career-bests in tackles for loss (seven), pass breakups (three) and forced fumbles (two), which led to his first selection to the Pro Bowl. Lawrence registered 70 total pressures, including the playoffs, and 42 defensive stops, according to PFF.
In addition to the top 25 under 25 list, The Athletic also released their All-25-and-Under Team, which they broke down by position. Featured among the linebackers was Giants outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux.
"Thibodeaux, who earned All-Rookie honors, impressed in 2022, proving himself to be both versatile and disruptive for the Giants defense," the article stated. "Look for a significant leap forward in 2023 for the 22-year-old."
View photos of defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence's career with the Giants.