The quarterback position is often deemed the most important position on the field. Sure, the QB leads the offense, calls the plays, audibles when needed and keeps the offense on the same page. But even the best QBs can’t do that without support.
Pro Football Focus named each of the NFL’s 32 teams’ most important non-QB players. It should come as no surprise that Andrew Thomas was their pick for the New York Giants.
The New York spotlight shone heavily on Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley last season, but the emergence of left tackle Andrew Thomas shouldn’t go unnoticed. Thomas was, by far, the Giants’ best offensive player.
Ranked third in the NFL with a 90.3 overall grade, Thomas was one of only three tackles with 80.0-plus grades in both run blocking and pass protection. He is the anchor of the Giants’ offensive line. He could soon lead an elite unit if Evan Neal and John Michael Schmitz live up to their pre-draft hype.
The Giants, as a whole, had a fantastic 2022 season, the best they’ve had in a decade. Some of that is because of the front office changes, but most of it is because players like Thomas executed on the field.
Offensive linemen so often get the shaft when it comes to how important they are to the team. At least from the media. But the truth is, the line is what makes the team. Skill position players are fun to watch, they do things most of us can only dream of, but none of that is possible without their line.
For the Giants, Thomas is the heart of the offensive line. The blind-side blocker is expected to see things the QB can’t see. The guy who keeps the other linemen at the top of their game, who pushes them to be the best they can be. He’s the one who makes sure the offense keeps moving in the right direction.
Thomas is one of the most underpaid tackles in the league, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing his job to the best of his ability. Entering his fourth season in 2023, Thomas looks to improve on what he’s already done and earn himself a nice new contract with a higher pay grade.