The New York Giants added three offensive linemen via this year’s draft, including first-round selection Andrew Thomas.
This offseason, the New York Giants were on an absolute mission to fix the offensive line once and for all. After the unit allowed 43 sacks last year, it was clear alterations needed to be implemented.
Big Blue thus chose a trio of offensive linemen through the draft’s first five rounds, acquiring tackle Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 overall pick along with tackle Matt Peart and guard Shane Lemieux in the third and fifth rounds, respectively. Each individual will hopefully become a staple in this group, and one of the current veteran “hog mollies” is actually noticing their hard work coming to fruition.
“Overall impressions, [Thomas is] smart,” right guard Kevin Zeitler told John Schmeelk of giants.com’s “Giants Huddle” podcast. “I know he’s working hard off the field, but he’s also been getting the stuff in the meetings. That’s a good start. That’s really all you can do. You can come in physically and mentally prepared, and that’s the best start you can have.”
Thomas will likely start at the right tackle position before eventually transitioning over to Daniel Jones’ blindside. Despite the fact that the team drafted him to be the left tackle for the future, the Giants will be reluctant to give a rookie that kind of responsibility right away.
In regards to Peart — the 6-foot-7 developmental tackle out of UConn — Zeitler mentioned his “real big” frame as well as his attention to detail.
“I think it’s just like anything…[rookies] coming in, they’re aware, they know a lot of detail, and that’s good,” Zeitler said. “That’s what you have to do. You have to know what you’re doing when we get out there.”
Schmeelk then proceeded to bring up Lemieux’s energy, a trait that Zeitler seemingly believes is a benefit on the gridiron.
“Energy will take you very far in this league,” he said. “On top of that, I know he’s working hard and he wants to be good, too, just like all of them. That’s a great start again.”
Peart and Lemieux are hopefully going to find themselves as starters down the road. They both will need to put in the work before seeing a notable amount of playing time.
Zeitler has just two years left on his current deal and it’s unclear what his future will entail after that. He’s entering his age-30 season, so it’s still up in the air whether the Giants will keep him past the 2021 campaign.
New York originally acquired Zeitler prior to the 2019 season in a trade that sent Olivier Vernon to Cleveland.