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A Look at Andrew Thomas' Experience Handling Top Pass Rushers

The Giants' decision to select Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas fourth overall in the draft signifies a commitment to offense in 2020. Thomas brings the most polish and best technique of any of this year's tackle prospects, and a long-term answer that the Giants have missed at left tackle for many years.

For those who might be worried about whether the Giants sold themselves short in selecting Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 overall draft, his resume might quell your concerns.

"I’ll tell you what. His skillset favors his opportunity to come in and contribute," head coach Joe Judge said during a conference call with reporters Thursday night after the Giants selected Thomas in the draft.

"He’s long, he’s a good athlete, he has good short-area redirect. One thing that sticks out about him is when you watch the top pass rushers, with the exception of maybe a couple in this draft, they have to go against him. You watch his college tape, and he is going against all the guys that you are going to see get drafted in the next couple of days.

"He does a heck of a job on them. You see him compete, you see him play big in big games, and that’s important. He was coached very hard at the University of Georgia, and that’s a trait we look for. Guys who can play hard and play on big stages and compete."

Let's take a look back at a handful of Thomas' most notable matchups against top pass rushers.

Josh Allen, Kentucky | Nov. 13, 2018

General manager Dave Gettleman confessed when he began envisioning the possibility of Thomas in Giants blue.

"One of the things that kinda helped the process along was the other day I took a look at his 2018 games when they played Kentucky and when he played Josh Allen," Gettleman said. "You guys know I have a lot of love for Josh Allen and how talented he is."

In that game, Thomas, who went up against Allen for most of it day, held the pass rusher to just three total tackles and no sacks.

K'Lavon Chaison, LSU | Dec. 7, 2019 (SEC Championship Game)

Thomas faced one of the best edge rushers in this year's draft when Georgia took on LSU in the SEC Championship game back in December.

Thomas' performance against Chaisson didn't prove to be the one-sided slugfest the matchup against Allen was, as Chaisson, whom Thomas later said was the toughest player he faced in 2019, was able to tally a sack.

Beyond that one sack, Chaisson was held in check even in a lopsided 37-10 LSU victory.

Chaisson went to the Jaguars, so the two former college foes won't be seeing each other very often in their first few years in the NFL. They are, however, scheduled to face off against each other in 2022.

Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson, Auburn | Nov. 11, 2017, Nov. 10, 2018, and Nov. 16, 2019

Thomas became very familiar with Auburn's notorious defensive front in three meetings between the Tigers and the Bulldogs dating back to 2017. Brown and Davidson terrorized offensive lines across the SEC, but hardly ever got the best of Thomas and Georgia's offensive line.

Brown and Davidson combined for just one sack in the first meeting in 2017, both seeing snaps lined up to the interior of Thomas.


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That trend continued in the 2018 meeting, but that time Brown and Davidson were both held sackless and combined for only 0.5 tackles for loss. In the 2019 meeting, Davidson did notch a rare sack against Thomas, but beyond that, it was another clean performance by Thomas and the rest of the Bulldogs line.

Da'Ron Payne, Alabama | Jan. 8, 2018 (National Championship Game)

When the Giants face division-rival Washington for the first time in 2020, the headline matchup will be Thomas versus Chase Young in what will be billed as the battle between top-four picks in this year's draft.

But Thomas might see some snaps against another pass rusher that he last faced in a classic 26-23 overtime heartbreak between Alabama in Georgia two years ago.

Thomas' first season as a starter culminated in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2018. Thomas was tasked with blocking Da'Ron Payne, one of the nation's most feared defensive linemen, on college football's biggest stage.

Containing Payne proved to take a group effort by Thomas and Georgia's interior blockers, but they ultimately held Payne without a sack or tackle for loss.

Montez Sweat, Mississippi State | Sep. 23, 2017

The Giants' first meeting against Washington will be a rematch for more-than one notable pass rusher Thomas faced as a freshman.

In Thomas' first year as a starter at Georgia, he helped anchor the offensive line in a 31-3 blowout against Mississippi State. Thomas kept Montez Sweat, whom he faced most of the night and kept in check as the Bulldog offensive line didn't give up a single sack.

Thomas also helped open up 213 yards worth of rushing lanes for the running game while holding Sweat to just three assisted tackles.

Jonathan Greenard, Florida | Nov. 2, 2019

Greenard was the SEC's leading sack artist in 2019 but, against Thomas, couldn't bring down the quarterback once.

Thomas couldn't entirely silence Greenard, though. Greenard was all over the field against Georgia with nine total tackles, but nowhere in the backfield.

Thomas kept Greenard from tallying a single tackle for loss, and Greenard even went on to say that Thomas was the best blocker he'd ever faced in college.

Julian Okwara, Notre Dame | Sep. 21, 2019

Thomas saw snaps against both Okwara and Khalid Kareem last season and didn't give up a sack to either. Okwara and Kareem ultimately just combined for just five total tackles and only 0.5 tackles-for-loss.

Thomas helped keep Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm upright the entire game as Fromm didn't sustain a single sack. Fromm had the protection to complete 20 for 26 passes, and the Bulldogs found 152 yards worth of rushing lanes from Thomas and company.