Call this one a major Dave Gettleman win.
Pro Football Focus ranked New York Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas as the 10th-best player under 25 in the NFL. That’s quite an accomplishment for a player who looked like a major bust after his rookie season.
Thomas is coming off a season in which he was named a second-team All-Pro despite being snubbed from the Pro Bowl. He earned an 89.1 PFF grade, which was the third-best among all tackles, including an 88.8 pass-blocking grade that ranked fourth. Thomas allowed just three sacks and three quarterback hits at a 3.4% pressure rate, which tied for seventh-best.
The Giants found their long-term left tackle and will negotiate to pay him as such. It’s all the more incredible that their offensive line was such an issue last season considering Thomas’ dominant play.
PFF did not include any other Giants players on their Top 25 list. This is not altogether unsurprising, although Kayvon Thibodeaux certainly has the potential to join if he can stay healthy. Thibodeaux was set back by injury but started to show his abilities at the end of the year. He earned an overall PFF grade of 71.9, which was third among rookie edge rushers, including a second-ranked 67.9 pass rush grade. Still, that doesn’t come close to Micah Parsons (92.0), who took the top spot and was the lone edge rusher on the list.
Xavier McKinney is 24 years old, but PFF did not look kindly on his 2022 season. Even prior to his gruesome ATV accident, McKinney had earned just one grade above 70.0 in eight games. His season grade of 57.8 ranked 55th out of 71 qualified safeties (min. 550 snaps). That was a far cry from his 75.4 grade in 2021, which ranked 14th. There also was not a single safety on the list.
There aren’t too many other Giants players who could’ve qualified. The remaining list of under-25 non-rookie New York players includes Cor’Dale Flott, Daniel Bellinger, Dane Belton, Evan Neal, Azeez Ojulari, Wan’Dale Robinson, Darrian Beavers, Joshua Ezeudu, Micah McFadden, Jason Pinnock, Isaiah Hodgins, Darnay Holmes, and Nick McCloud. There are some useful players in there, but certainly not top-25 caliber.
Perhaps Thibodeaux and Neal can break out in 2023 and players like Deonte Banks and John Michael Schmitz can excel as rookies. Since Thomas will graduate to the 25+ group next year, those are the Giants’ best hopes for making the list in the future.