Jets: Andrew Thomas could provide stability on Gang Green O-line

Andrew Thomas, Georgia Bulldogs. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Andrew Thomas, Georgia Bulldogs. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

There isn’t necessarily a true can’t-miss prospect when looking at the lineman of the 2020 NFL Draft. There are some fine prospects, however, that will most likely be taken at around the time the New York Jets are on the clock.

Andrew Thomas, a Junior tackle out of Georgia, is someone who may not be perfect athletically but is too strong in other areas to pass up. If Jedrick Wills Jr. is off the board by that eleventh spot in the first round, Thomas may be too good for the New York Jets to pass up.

The downside with him is that he’s not the fastest. That’s only in reference to his foot speed and agility, however. His hand speed is excellent. The best part about Thomas, however, is that he actually makes up for his lack of great speed with probably the most important trait of an offensive tackle, his menacing brute size, and strength.

It’s not just that Thomas is a monster in size (as well as a competitor). It’s that he has tremendous length. His 6-5, 320-pound frame is ridiculous and covers a lot of ground. Defensive linemen can’t get around him, and bullrushes at the NFL level won’t work. His overwhelming strength will establish dominance at the point of contact every time.

It’s not just that he can knock his man off the line seemingly at will, but that he showcased power to handle multiple defenders at the same time in the fierce SEC conference.

Thomas wouldn’t seem to be at his best if the New York Jets want to have Sam Darnold sit in the pocket for longer next year. Something Adam Gase (unfortunately) wants him to do, but regardless, we know Darnold likes to move in the pocket.  That was obvious last season when Darnold ended up taking more control of the Gang Green offense and did his thing.

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That’s when the New York Jets were best in their second-half surge. When Darnold is allowed to be himself, Thomas will be a great asset to him. He would be playing on the left side, and Darnold will be rolling to his right.

If Thomas can be as powerful at the point of contact when Sam’s rolling out. He literally would have the quarterback’s blindside. Judging how strong and ferocious Thomas is, he of all prospects can handle that assignment.

It’s understandable to worry that Gase will want Darnold to drop back and throw deep every play. At the same time, Gase needs to keep his job. He has to do what works, and if he does, Thomas is going to be a great addition to the New York Jets line that has gone from the elite at the end of the 2000s and start of the last decade to the bottom of the league for the past two seasons.

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