Sports Illustrated selects two Giants as potential first-time Pro Bowlers in 2023
Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence was named to his first Pro Bowl following his stellar 2022 campaign.
Could any Giants follow suit and make the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2023?
Sports Illustrated's Conor Orr recently compiled a list of 10 players that could potentially be first-time Pro Bowlers in 2023, which featured two young Giants.
The first of which was Andrew Thomas, whose presence on the list should come as no surprise after his performance last season earned him a selection as Second-Team All-Pro.
"Thomas was playing in a very schematically diverse offense that regularly shifted personnel groupings in order to confuse the defense," Orr wrote. "This, plus a run-heavy offense with a mobile quarterback, puts a lot on the shoulders of an offensive tackle. Thomas will be a Pro Bowl regular, especially as (Lane) Johnson, (Trent) Williams and some of the older guards in the conference phase out. This will be the first of many."
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 season and allowed a mere three sacks and 21 total pressures on over 600 pass block snaps.
The 24-year-old started the first 16 games of the year before sitting out the regular-season finale in Philadelphia. He played 100 percent of the team's offensive snaps in 14 games, while on the field for over 80 percent of the other two contests. The only snaps Thomas missed were due to games being out of hand late in the second half.
Last month, Pro Football Focus named Thomas to their list of the top 25 players under 25.
View the best photos from the career of Giants All-Pro left tackle Andrew Thomas.
The second Giant featured on Sports Illustrated's list is second-year outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux, who finished fourth in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.
"One has to put their faith in defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, one of the best minds in the sport, who routinely frees up his best rushers to get cracks at the quarterback," said Orr. "While sacks are a poor reference point, Thibodeaux's hurry and pressure numbers can also vastly improve this year, lending some buoyancy to his case for a Pro Bowl bid."
A knee injury suffered during the preseason led to Thibodeaux not making his NFL debut until Week 3. He finished his rookie year with 49 tackles (33 solo), four sacks, six tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one touchdown, and five passes defensed.
The 22-year-old flashed his potential during the Giants' Week 15 win over the Washington Commanders, a game that Thibodeaux dominated. The former Oregon Duck finished with 12 tackles (nine solo), a sack, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble which he recovered and returned for a touchdown.
Thibodeaux had another strong outing against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 12, where PFF had him down for nine total pressures, including five quarterback hits.
Here are all 10 players listed on Orr's list of potential first-time Pro Bowlers in 2023:
- LT Andrew Thomas, New York Giants
- OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants
- QB Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
- C Tyler Linderbaum, Baltimore Ravens
- LB Ja'Whaun Bentley, New England Patriots
- QB Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
- EDGE Marcus Davenport, Minnesota Vikings
- G Isaac Seumalo, Pittsburgh Steelers
- WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
- DT Derrick Brown, Carolina Panthers
View the best photos of Giants rookie outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux.
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