The New York Giants decided to draft Andrew Thomas Thursday night. All in all, addressing the tackle spot was the right move.
I understand the oohs and ahhs that come with watching Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons’ play. I understand there were arguably better offensive tackles on the board at No. 4 than Georgia’s Andrew Thomas.
But at the end of the day, the New York Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman made the right move addressing the offensive line in the first round.
Simmons is a phenomenal player, don’t get me wrong. His versatility and athleticism will surely bolster the Arizona Cardinals defense. But the Giants have overlooked the glaring issue at the offensive tackle spot for years, and Thursday was the right time to address it.
Big Blue fans were sick of the one-year plans at right tackle — Chad Wheeler in 2018 and Mike Remmers in 2019. Cam Fleming recently inked a one-year deal with New York, which gave most a “here we go again” type of feel.
New York needed a guy to thrive alongside its young, emerging, talented offensive weapons, and as we know, there’s a number of them. Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, and Sterling Shepard could form a dominant core within this offensive unit for years. But without an established offensive line, it all goes to waste.
Thomas is here to change that, likely on the right side of the line to start and then eventually over to the left side — Jones’ blindside. It all depends on how the organization feels with Nate Solder at left tackle, a spot he’s struggled in for much of the last two seasons.
But regardless of which tackle spot he performs in, Thomas will undoubtedly help this offense maximize its superb potential.
I’m aware of the argument for Simmons.
I’m aware that the Giants need that defensive playmaker in order to improve a group that finished 25th in total defense and 28th in pass defense last year.
But I’ll tell you this much: Offense wins games, defense wins championships, but a championship is a game, don’t forget that. This team needed to make sure its young quarterback had all the tools and support around him in order to develop effectively and efficiently as possible.
Jones has the sensational running back in Barkley and the reliable receivers in Shepard and Slayton (when healthy). One of the pieces that was missing though was a tackle for the future.
The Giants passed up on a generational talent like Simmons in order to help out Jones, the correct decision in what’s a passing, quarterback-driven league.
Drafting for need over drafting the best player available was a different angle taken by Gettleman. Nevertheless, this team won nine games in two years. They needed to try something different.
Take some time to process this Giants fans, and welcome Thomas to East Rutherford. Soon enough, you’ll realize a young offensive tackle was the biggest need on the roster, and one that will greatly assist in the improvement of this franchise as a whole.