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Andrew Thomas ready to “protect the quarterback, open up lanes”

Giants will need him to do both

2020 NFL Draft - Round 1
Andrew Thomas on a Thursday night teleconference.
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

The New York Giants drafted offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, more or less, to be a bodyguard for quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley.

“I have always gotten a chuckle out of people who say you draft a quarterback and you have to get him weapons. No, you don’t draft a quarterback and then get weapons, once you draft a quarterback, you get guys in front of him that will keep him upright,” GM Dave Gettleman said Thursday night during a conference call following the pick. “So, this was an important piece for us in Daniel’s development and for Saquon, as well. Don’t forget the running part of it, and he is a hell of a run blocker.”

Thomas said Thursday night during a post-selection Zoom call that he relishes the role.

“I’ll do my best to protect the quarterback, open up lanes,” he said. “Those guys are very talented. I’ll be looking up to those guys to teach me the ropes, working hard to help the program.”

The Giants said Thursday that Thomas’ success against top pass rushers in the Southeastern Conference was part of what attracted them to him.

“Playing in the SEC, I’ve gone against a few pretty good pass rushers. Like I said, week in and week out, you have to be prepared going against guys like Josh Allen, (K’Lavon) Chaisson this year was a pretty good rusher,” Thomas said. “It just prepares you a little bit for what you’re going to see in the NFL.

“I’m a competitor. I want to go up against the best guys and test my limits against them.”

While mock drafts had the Giants likely selecting an offensive tackle, leading up to Thursday night Thomas seemed like an unlikely choice. He admitted being the first tackle selected mattered.

“Definitely, I work hard every day to be the best,” Thomas said. “I don’t understand why you would play this game if you don’t want to be the best. It definitely meant something.”

It will definitely mean something to the success of the Giants if Thomas can now live up to his status as the draft’s fourth overall pick.