Several Giants make The Athletic's 2020 All-Rookie Team
The Giants saw several members of the team's 2020 draft class contribute in a big way this season.
No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas led the way for the Giants' rookie class, starting 15 of 16 games at left tackle while playing 96 percent of the team's offensive snaps. The rookie tackle had his ups and downs during his first NFL season, but truly showcased his abilities in the team's Week 13 win over the Seahawks. In that game, Thomas earned an elite overall grade of 87.1 from Pro Football Focus after not allowing a single pressure, and was named the top rookie of the week by PFF's Mike Renner.
Thomas wasn't the only rookie to step up in 2020. While he missed the first 10 games of the season due to a foot injury, Xavier McKinney helped seal the Week 17 win over the Cowboys with his late-game interception, putting Dallas' comeback bid to rest. Matt Peart saw action in 11 games this season, while Shane Lemieux started the final nine games of the year. In addition, Darnay Holmes and Tae Crowder made some significant contributions on the defensive side of the ball, while Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin were both key members of the special teams unit.
With the regular season now complete, many news outlets are releasing their lists of accolades for the 2020 campaign. Earlier this week, The Athletic's Dane Brugler produced his 2020 All-Rookie Team, and several first-year Giants were selected as honorable mentions.
Among those who were named honorable mentions to Brugler's All-Rookie Team are Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart, Shane Lemieux, Tae Crowder, Darnay Holmes and Xavier McKinney.
President John Mara sees foundation for success
It would be inaccurate to say John Mara is pleased with the Giants' 2020 season. The franchise's president and chief executive officer would never celebrate after finishing with six victories and, truth be told, is only fully satisfied after seasons that end with a championship.
But Mara is unwavering in his belief the Giants are on a path to success.
"I'm disappointed that we couldn't do better than 6-10," Mara said today on a season wrap-up Zoom call. "But I do see progress in the building here. I think that the quality of people that we have in the locker room has improved a great deal. I think we have some great leaders down there. I think we've established a basis for a foundation that can have continued success going forward. I'm excited about the future of this team. I think the fact that we went 5-3 over the second half of the season gives me some reason for encouragement.
"I'm obviously disappointed we didn't make the playoffs. We had every opportunity to do that only needing one more game, and we didn't get that done. But I think what I wanted to see this year was some progress and some reason for some optimism going forward, and I did see that and that's why I'm optimistic about what we can do in the future."
Mara praised Joe Judge for leading the team around numerous obstacles posed by the pandemic and forming a productive alliance with Dave Gettleman, who just completed his third season as general manager.
"I think the way Dave and Joe worked together, I thought our personnel decisions were really sound this year," Mara said. "I feel better about our roster than I have in years, and I think the two of them working together have started the building process with something that can have sustained success going forward."
While that should portend a bright future, Mara is well aware Giants fans want more tangible evidence the franchise is moving in the right direction – victories, postseason berths and championships.
"I think there's always a certain leap of faith when you're coming off a season when you only won six games," Mara said. "But just the quality of the players that we have in the locker room, the fact that they all seemed to buy in to Joe's philosophy and Joe's message. The effort was really good all year long, the discipline was really good all year long. I just think there's a different feeling in the building now than there has been in a number of years, and I think that's why I'm optimistic."
Rookie Roundup: Best of 2020 class in photos
Check out the gallery below to view the best photos of the Giants' rookie class throughout the 2020 season.
View some of the best photos of the Giants' rookies throughout the 2020 season as the team enters the offseason.