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Giants Now: Dexter Lawrence, Andrew Thomas land on PFF's top 50 players list


Dexter Lawrence, Andrew Thomas land on PFF's top 50 players list

In less than one week, the Giants will take the field at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the first practice of training camp.

Leading up to the start of camp, Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson counted down the top 50 players in the NFL, according to the analytics site.

Two Giants were featured on the list, both of whom were selected as All-Pros last season, starting with defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence landing at No. 29.

"Lawrence became one of the most unstoppable defensive linemen in the game last season," wrote Monson. "His 92.0 overall grade tied with Chris Jones for the best among interior linemen in the regular season, and he finished with 63 total pressures. Unlike most pass-rushing interior linemen, Lawrence still spent over 500 snaps lined up in the A-gaps as a true nose tackle at over 340 pounds."

As mentioned above, Lawrence enjoyed a true breakout campaign last season on his way to being named Second-Team All-Pro. The fourth-year defensive lineman set new career-highs with 7.5 sacks and 28 quarterback hits, shattering his previous high marks of 4.0 sacks and 11 QB hits.

He has also set new career-bests in total tackles (68), 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.

After never topping 69 percent of defensive snaps played in his first three seasons, Lawrence played 82 percent of the Giants' defensive snaps in 2022 (864 snaps).

View photos of defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence's career with the Giants.

Ranking a few spots behind Lawrence on PFF's list is left tackle Andrew Thomas, who came in at No. 32.

"The 2022 season marked the arrival of Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas as one of the very best in the game," Monson said. "Thomas has consistently improved after an ugly start to his rookie year, and last year he was a dominant force. He allowed just 23 total pressures across 18 games and earned an 81.0 run-blocking grade, making him one of just three tackles to grade above 80.0 in both facets of play."

Originally the fourth overall selection by the Giants in the 2020 NFL Draft, Thomas has played 45 games (44 starts) over his first three years in the league.

After boosting his game in 2021, Thomas took a significant step in his development this past season. The 24-year-old recorded just two penalties all year and allowed a mere three sacks and 21 total pressures 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.

PFF's Dalton Wasserman also named Thomas as the Giants' most important non-quarterback.

"Ranked third in the NFL with a 90.3 overall grade, Thomas was one of only three tackles with 80.0-plus grades in both run blocking and pass protection," wrote Wasserman. "He is the anchor of the Giants' offensive line. He could soon lead an elite unit if Evan Neal and John Michael Schmitz live up to their pre-draft hype."

View the best photos from the career of Giants All-Pro left tackle Andrew Thomas.