New York Giants Andrew Thomas
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Much of the New York Giants’ success will be determined by how quickly fourth-overall pick Andrew Thomas adjusts to the speed of the NFL.

Jason Leach

One of the reasons there’s optimism surrounding the New York Giants is that they took who many consider the best offensive tackle in the draft—Andrew Thomas.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Thomas was the only All-American tackle in this year’s draft. But as we all know success in college doesn’t necessarily transfer into the NFL. So far Thomas has held his own in practice despite being knocked down once by Lorenzo Carter.

On Wednesday, Thomas was asked what has surprised him thus far in the NFL.

“I would say how developed everyone is at their positions,” Thomas told reporters. “In college, if you are faster and stronger and you know your assignment, you usually do well. At this level, there is so much technique that you have to learn. There are so many things before the snap, before the ball even hikes. I think that’s the biggest adjustment.”

Most believe that with Nate Solder opting out, Thomas will be the Giants starting left tackle. But that is not a lock as Thomas is being cross-trained to play both left and right tackle.

He talked about what it’s liked being cross-trained and how it will benefit the team.

“That’s how Coach Judge teaches it,” Thomas said. “He wants us to be able to help the team in any way we can. If I can play right, I will play right, if I have to play left, even if I have to move inside, I’m just doing my best to help the team.”

Going fourth in the draft and possibly slotting in as Solder’s replacement can put a ton of pressure on a young player. Thomas was asked if he feels any added pressure in wake of Solder opting out.

“Not necessarily, I’m just working every day to get better. There are a lot of older guys like Cam Fleming, Kevin Zeitler, guys that I am leaning on. I’m just trying to get better at my position,” Thomas said.

Thomas will get a stiff first test in the team’s season opener on Sept. 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers as he’ll go up against T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. Watt and Dupree combined for 26 sacks last season, but Thomas seems ready and poised to handle anything thrown his way this season.

Thomas and the rest of the Giants will be back on the practice field on Thursday and Friday, before having a day off on Saturday.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.