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Giants Now (4/24): Experts review Giants' pick

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Experts review Giants' pick

The Giants selected Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Thomas started 15 games at right tackle as a true freshman in 2017 before moving to left tackle the last two seasons. He started 13 games in both 2018 and 2019 and missed just one game in his three seasons as a Bulldog.

The selection was met with positive reviews from the media. Here is what some are saying about the Giants' first round pick…

Pro Football Focus' Anthony Treash and Ben Linsey: "Andrew Thomas was the highest-ranked offensive lineman on the PFF Draft Board, and he has put forth elite production against some of the stiffest competition in college football. In 2019, Thomas posted an elite 92.5 overall grade that ranked third in the FBS, and he was one of the few to produce a top-10 grade both in pass protection and as a run-blocker. Dave Gettleman and the Giants got themselves the best offensive tackle in the draft."

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco: "He's the best tackle in this draft class. I think he's the cleanest tackle. This kid's going to be a longtime starter on the left side. This year he'll start on the right."

The Athletic's Dan Duggan: "After taking a running back and a quarterback with his top picks in his first two years as Giants general manager, Dave Gettleman added some help up front. Gettleman had his choice of a strong group of offensive tackles and went with Georgia's Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 pick. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder has 36-1/8 inch arms, which tied for the second-longest among offensive linemen at the combine. A three-year starter at Georgia, Thomas will be expected to step into the starting lineup on Day 1 to protect Daniel Jones and open holes for Saquon Barkley."

ESPN's Jordan Raanan: "The Giants needed a tackle and Thomas was their top choice. He will come in and compete at right and left tackle, per coach Joe Judge. It's hard to complain. GM Dave Gettleman wanted "to fix this offensive line once and for all." Thomas started the season as the No. 1 tackle and played well against top competition in the SEC. He blew eight of 793 total blocks last season, a 1% blown block rate that was third best among SEC offensive tackles and 20th in FBS, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. And he fits with what the Giants want to do offensively under coordinator Jason Garrett."

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano: "Dave Gettleman said it all when he explained why he picked Georgia OT Andrew Thomas. "We wanted to fix this offensive line once and for all," he said. He's been talking about it since his first day as the Giants general manager, and this might have been his most significant step. A three-year starter at Georgia, he has every physical trait needed in an anchor tackle, and the necessary experience in the SEC."

Andrew Thomas ready to take on NFL's best pass rushers

Thomas was a starter at Georgia for all three years he was a Bulldog. Between his 15 games at right tackle as a true freshman and the 26 games he started at left tackle over the last two seasons, Thomas had plenty of experience facing some of the SEC's best.

"Playing in the SEC, I've gone against a few pretty good pass rushers," Thomas said Thursday night. "Week in and week out you have to be prepared going against guys like Josh Allen, (K'Lavon) Chaisson this year was a pretty good rusher. It just prepares you a little bit for what you're going to see in the NFL."

Thomas was stellar throughout his three seasons at Georgia. While starting at right tackle as a freshman, the lineman allowed only 17 pressures on 351 pass blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus' Mike Renner. The numbers look even better when reviewing his entire career with the Bulldogs, as Thomas allowed a total of 37 QB pressures on 1,075-career pass blocking snaps at Georgia. PFF handed Thomas a 92.4 overall grade, which ranked as the highest among all offensive tackles from Power-5 schools (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12) in the 2020 draft.

Thomas' experience facing talented players in the SEC has prepared him to take on some of the NFL's best pass rushers.

"Confidence comes with preparation, understanding the playbook, learning from the vets week in and week out," Thomas said. "Going against guys that have been playing in the league for 10 years, who are very good at what they do. So for me, it's a mental thing and like I said, having confidence in myself for my preparation."

View photos from the college career of Georgia OT Andrew Thomas.

Giants have nine picks remaining

The first round of the 2020 draft is in the rearview mirror, but the party is just getting started. The Giants currently have nine picks remaining, including two picks on Day Two:

  • Round 2, Pick 36
  • Round 3, Pick 99
  • Round 4, Pick 110
  • Round 5, Pick 150
  • Round 6, Pick 138
  • Round 7, Pick 218
  • Round 7, Pick 238
  • Round 7, Pick 247
  • Round 7, Pick 255

There are still plenty of talented players on the board. The Giants currently own the No. 36 and No. 99 picks on day two. Here are the top 10 players remaining from Daniel Jeremiah's Top 150 prospect ranking.

16. RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia -- "Swift is a compact running back with excellent patience, vision and quickness... Overall, Swift has a similar skill set to Josh Jacobs, and I expect comparable results at the next level."

19. DT Ross Blacklock, TCU -- "Blacklock is a dynamic interior defensive lineman... Overall, Blacklock comes with some risk, but he's worth it. He has the potential to develop into a top-flight interior pass rusher."

22. S Xavier McKinney, Alabama -- "McKinney was an instinctive safety for the Tide and he also spent some time playing nickel linebacker... Overall, McKinney is an intelligent, versatile defender and he should be very effective in multiple roles."

26. EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa -- "Epenesa is a skilled pass rusher with outstanding size, strength and effort... Overall, Epenesa has a very high floor as a prospect. He should be a consistent 8-to-10-sack performer at the very least."

27. WR Tee Higgins, Clemson -- "Higgins is a tall, long and rangy wideout with elite high-point skills... Overall, Higgins isn't going to do a lot of the dirty work in the middle of the field, but he's very effective on the outside and provides big-play ability."

29. CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah -- "Johnson offers an enticing size/speed combination for the position... Overall, Johnson is very talented and should be a Day 1 starter outside with the potential to cover in the slot as well."

30. EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State -- "Gross-Matos was a tall, long edge rusher for the Nittany Lions. Overall, Gross-Matos offers double-digit sack potential, but he does need to add strength at the next level."

33. EDGE Marlon Davidson, Auburn -- "Davidson has average height and a thick/square build... Overall, Davidson has some inside/outside flexibility and his production should carry over to the next level."

34. LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin -- "Baun is a slightly undersized outside linebacker with excellent athleticism and versatility... He reminds me of former USC LB Uchenna Nwosu, someone whose versatility the Chargers have tapped into. I'd do the same with Baun."

35. RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin -- "Taylor is an ultra-productive running back with outstanding strength and speed... Overall, Taylor is an explosive home run hitter with upside in the passing game."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's best remaining prospects from his Top 150 ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft.


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