UNSPECIFIED LOCATION - APRIL 23: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Andrew Thomas, center, smiles during the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23, 2020.
(Photo by NFL via Getty Images)

Upgrading the offensive line was a priority for Dave Gettleman and he snags his man with All-American Andrew Thomas at pick No. 4.

Jason Leach

Many mock drafts leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft had the New York Giants taking an offensive tackle. Very few of those mock drafts had the Giants taking Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas, but he was general manager Dave Gettleman’s guy.

Shortly following the selection of Thomas, Gettleman stated, “We wanted to fix the offensive line once and for all.”

There were four talented offensive tackles projected to go in the first half of round one—Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills Jr., Mekhi Becton, and Thomas. However, Thomas was the only tackle that was a First-Team All-American.

The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Thomas brings size and versatility to an offensive line that gave up 43 sacks last season. Thomas played right tackle as a freshman with the Georgia Bulldogs before he was switched to left tackle in his sophomore season.

The fact that he can play both tackle positions is a huge plus for the Giants who have uncertainty at the position.

After failing to bring back right tackle Mike Remmers, the Giants signed Cam Fleming. But Fleming is best served as a reserve tackle, having only started six games the last two seasons.

Nate Solder has struggled mightily in his two seasons at left tackle with the Big Blue. He’s said previously that he’s open to moving to right tackle, but that won’t be an easy transition.

The luxury of having Thomas is that he’ll be ready and poised to start at either tackle position whenever training camp opens. This could have been why Gettleman went with Thomas instead of taking Clemson All-American linebacker Isaiah Simmons.

With the Washington Redskins selecting Ohio State’s edge rusher Chase Young with the second overall pick, all three of the Giants divisional opponents have more than formidable defensive fronts. This emphasized the need for the Giants to add to the offensive line.

When training camp opens, we’ll find out if Thomas will play right or left tackle. The strong belief is that he’ll play right tackle and then move over to left tackle in 2021 if the Giants part ways with Solder. It makes sense for cap ramifications if they cut Solder after this season as opposed to before it.

Did Gettleman make the right choice? Only time will tell. It can take years before we know. But for right now, he believes he has the right man to protect Daniel Jones‘ blindside and open running lanes for Saquon Barkley.

Giants fans should feel very optimistic about this selection. Gettleman knows the team needs to show signs of improvement and he feels Thomas was the right guy.

Expect Gettleman to add at least one more offensive lineman in this draft as he looks to build a solid young core with Thomas and Will Hernandez.

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