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New York Giants Training Camp Preview: OT Andrew Thomas



New York Giants Training Camp Preview: OT Andrew Thomas

New York Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas has been one of the consistent bright spots on a mostly underperforming offensive line that is still looking to turn the corner at the onset of the 2024 season. The only issue Thomas needs to overcome in that time is keeping his elite pass protection on the gridiron. 

Ever since he was selected No. 4 overall in 2020, Thomas has quickly ascended into one of the NFL’s best offensive tackles and one of the few proven players on the Giants roster. His debut to the big league saw some bumps as he was thrown into the fire right away, but in the next couple seasons he would elevate his game to become one of the highest rated pass blockers at the position. 

From 2021-2022, Thomas played in 1,849 snaps for the Giants, with the majority coming in pass protection, and finished 17th and third in Pro Football Focus’ offensive tackle ratings. With Thomas, the left side of the pocket was nearly untouchable for Daniel Jones, with just five sacks and six quarterback hits under his teammates watch. 

Thomas dealt with an ankle injury in that 2021 season which he suffered in Week 6, but was able to return and keep one half of the Giants starting front stabilized. It was the 2023 season where his absences spiraled after a hamstring injury suffered in Week 1 against the Cowboys, when Thomas tried to chase down an interception return and would up missing eight games last season. 

Even with his shortened season, Thomas still put forth some of the best marks in the tackle position, including 10th in overall pass blocking grade by PFF’s metrics. His impact was felt tremendously when he was off the field, as the Giants’ offensive line sunk to 24th in pass block win rate and 31st in run block win rate by the end of the 2023 season. 

Thomas, a team captain, has had to carry the burden of speaking on behalf of the poor performances of the Giants offensive line throughout his first few seasons, whether he played or not. That looks to change as Carmen Bricillo takes over the position group and brings some veteran presence with him, some of which expects to play alongside Thomas and take accountability for finally fixing the starting front. 

With that mission heading into 2024, the Giants will at least know they have a gem at left tackle ready to slide back in and whose talents are very hard to replicate. As long as Thomas stays healthy and on the field to hold down the left side, there is no reason to believe his dominance won’t continue.

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 315 lbs.
Exp: 5 Years
College: Georgia
How Acquired: D1-20

By the measure of how well he performed in the previous two seasons, Thomas has a relatively down year in 2023 with the Giants. However, his stats were still some of the highest on the entire offensive line at the end of the season. 

Thomas played in a career-low 576 snaps, 376 of which came in pass protection and 200 blocking for the run, but was still magnificent in holding down the left edge. For the third straight year, he held opponents to under four sacks and 21 total pressures for an efficiency rating of 97.1 and was only penalized twice for holding infractions.

Thomas’ rare challenge came in the form of a nagging hamstring injury he suffered in Week 1 that limited his fourth NFL season to 10 games. He returned for the final nine games of the regular season and, despite not being 100 percent, had six games without giving up a sack and just 10 pressures overall. 

Thomas finished the 2023 season with an 80.2 pass blocking grade and 64.1 run blocking grade, the former being the best of any player on the Giants roster

Last summer, Thomas signed a massive contract extension with the Giants. The new deal gives the former No. 4 pick five years, $117.5 million with $67 million guaranteed at signing, a deal that made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL at the time of the agreement. 

In addition to those aspects of the contract, Thomas received $47.8 million of his guaranteed salary as new money guarantees and a $15 million signing bonus. His base salaries for 2024 and 2025 remain guaranteed at signings as will $15.4 million for 2026 and he can earn numerous roster bonuses and incentives throughout the rest of the contract. 

Thomas has earned his way into the very lucrative deal that makes him the second-highest contracted left tackle this year per Over the Cap.  

The Giants found out the hard way what life on the offensive line is like without their second-team All-Pro left tackle in Andrew Thomas. When he was sidelined last season with the hamstring injury, the team often had to scramble to select and position his replacement which at times had to be a guy playing out of his traditional position. 

That is what happened with Joshua Ezeudu and Justin Pugh, whom the Giants swept off the free agent market and moved from guard to left tackle in his second stint with the team. The two played in 502 snaps at Thomas’ spot, but allowed a combined 13 sacks, 34 hurries, 59 total pressures and 11 penalties that often left the quarterback scrambling on almost every passing play to avoid the worst fate on repeat. 

With Thomas back and his new additions around him, the Giants offensive line should be in better shape for Daniel Jones and his new weapons to operate with some sort of success. 

They’ll also need his presence to continue mentoring the young lineman behind him, especially right tackle Evan Neal who is entering a critical year for the fellow first-round pick who hasn’t produced up to the same level expected of his veteran teammate. 

None of that matters if Thomas, and to some extent the Giants, doesn’t protect himself from unnecessary injuries like the one he suffered last season. If he gets hurt again at any point, it’ll be very hard to keep the offensive line as a full-strength unit against premier NFL edge rushers. 

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