Georgia football’s Andrew Thomas was selected No. 4 overall by the Giants. Was that too much of a reach for New York or was he a quality pick?
The logic behind New York’s pick is sound. There is an old cliche around professional football: “You invest in the house and then you get the insurance.” The Giants invested in Daniel Jones last season with a top 10 pick.
This season, it was time to invest in the insurance. Andrew Thomas was the only “pure” left tackle in this draft. There were two tackles rated ahead of Thomas as a prospect: Jedrick Wills of Alabama and Mekhi Becton of Louisville. Both tackles went after Thomas. Also, Tristian Wirfs of Iowa was rated close to Thomas.
Wills spent most of his time protecting Tua Tagovailoa’s blindside at right tackle — Tua is a lefty. Most scouts think he can move to left tackle, but there will be a transition for Wills.
Becton has the highest athletic upside, but there is concern about him maintaining his weight. Also, he played both tackle spots so there is no guarantee he can be a blindside tackle.
Wirfs might not play tackle in the NFL. He is the best athlete of the offensive linemen in this draft, but he is not long. That leaves Thomas who spent the lion’s share of his college career at left tackle.
That was one of their needs — blindside tackle. Thomas was the best blindside tackle available. Why, then, is he considered to be a reach?
First, he was the 25th rated prospect in the draft regardless of position and the third-rated tackle. To go from 25th to No. 4 and not be a quarterback is easily considered a reach, especially when there was not exactly a run on offensive tackles.
It makes one wonder if the Giants could not find a trade partner to trade down where Thomas’ value based on need really was.
The primary reason this seems like a reach is the Giants also needed help at linebacker. They left a generational athlete — Isaiah Simmons — on the board to take Thomas. They needed a left tackle, but you left the best player — on some big boards — in this draft on the table. You just don’t do that.
The Giants clearly wanted Thomas and he was their guy. If he’s who they wanted, then God speed, and you hope he’s an anchor for a decade. However, if he flames out and Simmons becomes an All-Pro, everyone is going to consider this a reach.