Georgia Bulldogs: NFL Draft Stock Update, Andrew Thomas
The NFL Scouting Combine is quickly approaching, and before you know it, some of the nation's top collegiate talent will be taking a boat ride across the Fountains at the Bellagio to walk across that stage as NFL Draft picks.
In the meantime, however, there's going to be some serious jockeying for the top spot at each respective position.
And though D'Andre Swift seems to have a firm hold on the RB1 spot in this class, his former teammate, Andrew Thomas is in a real battle with some of the nation's elite tackle prospects.
SI.com's Kevin Hanson released his Offensive Line Rankings yesterday, and Thomas was beaten out by Jedrick Wills out of Alabama. Here's what Hanson had to say about Thomas:
"Thomas is a three-year starter with experience at right tackle (2017) and left tackle ('18 and '19). The recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given to the best offensive lineman in the SEC, Thomas has been a mauler in the run game, using his strength and punch to move opposing SEC defensive linemen. Thomas has had some balance issues in pass protection, but he has outstanding length (36-inch arms) and good foot quickness."
Hanson went on to say that it is a possibility that some teams may prefer to use Thomas at Guard, which I don't exactly understand if I'm being honest. Typically you bump a guy inside because he doesn't have the foot speed or athleticism to handle the edge defenders in the NFL, that's simply not the case with Thomas.
If you're drafting Andrew Thomas in the top-10 picks like he's currently slotted, you are drafting him to be the pro-bowl type of tackle that he can potentially be. Not to reset his maturation process as a prospect by making him play a position he hasn't played since, I don't know, middle school?
That's not to say he wouldn't make the transition from tackle to guard smoothly, there's just no need in my opinion when you consider how great he's been on the edge in the SEC for three straight seasons.
SI.com's Albert Breer had this to say about Andrew Thomas:
"The name that's been out there forever is Georgia's Andrew Thomas who plays left tackle for the Bulldogs. There's some questions about his motor, but just atheltically he fits the profile for a franchise left tackle. So, he'd be number one but may not be the first one to go. I think he's the most prototypical left tackle."
I agree with Breer's assessment of OT1, I also agree with him that it is likely Thomas is no longer drafted as such, but that's ok because there are plenty of tackle-hungry teams at the top of this year's NFL Draft and he won't have to wait long.
I will say this, that's the first time I've heard concern about Thomas' motor. I have never exactly seen that issue, however, if I had a concern it would be the overall aggression of the prospect. So, perhaps those concerns about the "motor" could be just Thomas not finishing every block on tape with Quenton Nelson levels of aggression and effort.