PFF lists Andrew Thomas among second-year breakout candidates
Pro Football Focus ranked the top 15 second-year players primed for a breakout season in 2021 after showing glimpses of their potential last season. The Giants were represented on this list as offensive tackle Andrew Thomas landed at No. 11.
As PFF's Seth Galina writes, "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."
Thomas showed significant improvement in the second half of the season. As Galina points out, the rookie tackle was able to cut his pressure rate from 14 percent in Weeks 1-7 to 6.1 percent from Week 8 on. He also raised his pass-blocking grade by over 18 points in the second half of the year.
The highlight of Thomas' rookie campaign came in the team's big Week 13 win over the Seattle Seahawks. The rookie left tackle put up an elite performance in this contest, not allowing a single pressure on 26 pass-blocking snaps which led to an 87.1 overall grade from PFF. Not only was this the highest grade of Thomas' season, but it was also the highest single-game grade by any rookie first-round tackle from the 2020 draft through the first 13 weeks of the season. PFF named Thomas its rookie of the week for this performance.
View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands heading into Week 1.
21 Questions: Giants' biggest strength right now
With the calendar flipped to July, Giants.com asks 21 important questions heading into the team's 2021 training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
For 21 days, a member of the Giants.com crew will answer one question about the roster, coaching staff, schedule, and much more.
Lance Medow: The Giants finished last season 17th against the pass, but that group showed improvement in the second half of the year and added more talent this off-season. The acquisitions of Adoree' Jackson and rookie Aaron Robinson will only strengthen a unit that already has James Bradberry (coming off his first Pro Bowl season) to go with veteran safeties Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers. Bradberry, Jackson, Ryan and Peppers each have played at least four NFL seasons and provide positional versatility.
The Giants have a young nucleus of players, including Julian Love, Darnay Holmes, Xavier McKinney and Robinson, who also provide flexibility when it comes to player alignment. Let's also not forget McKinney missed the majority of the 2020 season due to a broken foot and only appeared in six games, so he's still scratching the surface of his potential on the professional level. This group puts New York in a good position to showcase depth and protect itself from injuries. The talented unit also will allow the team to play more man-to-man. Last season, Patrick Graham rotated the corner opposite Bradberry but, this year, with Jackson aboard, he'll likely be able to be more creative with who he utilizes in the slot and on the back end at safety.
With training camp here, view photos of every move made by the Giants this offseason.
Xavier McKinney, Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan join podcast
John Schmeelk is joined by safeties Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan and Xavier McKinney on the Giants Huddle Podcast to preview the 2021 season.
0:43 Jabrill Peppers interview
7:09 Logan Ryan interview
13:53 Xavier McKinney interview