Four offensive lineman could realistically be selected in the top 15 picks of the 2020 NFL Draft, and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas is among the best of them. He played left tackle for the Bulldogs and was the highest rated offensive lineman ahead of the 2019 season, but now he’s on even ground with the likes of Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills Jr., and Mekhi Becton.
Thomas is considered to be the third or fourth best lineman prospect in most mock drafts, but is expected to be a Week 1 starter as a rookie. We’re here to break down how he’s viewed by scouts and analyze his potential rookie year impact.
Thomas is strong, but his 6’5” frame doesn’t fit the description for an ideal tackle. Most in this day and age are taller and have more length to combat the athletic defensive ends that they’ll be facing. This is especially important for Thomas because he’ll likely be defending the blind side of a right-handed quarterback.
Some scouts feel that Thomas’ footwork can get sloppy as time goes on. He also struggles against quicker opponents. The NFL has a ton of defensive lineman with strength, speed, and technique. Thomas has time to crack down on his fundamentals, but his lack of natural flexibility and fluidity could hinder his growth.
Here’s what scouts have said about Thomas.
Andrew Thomas is the best all-around tackle prospect in this draft, projecting near the top of the class as a pass protector and a run blocker. While there are other prospects that project (slightly) higher than him in one facet or the other, no one blends the two better than the three-year starter out of Georgia. — PFF’s Eric Eager
Thomas is a gritty player with above-average recovery talent to “get the job done” when his process breaks down. He’s a Day 1 starter who comes in well-coached and technically savvy, but occasional leaning, lunging and inconsistent knee bend in pass pro could be isolated and attacked by pass-rush wolves looking to feast if he doesn’t get those areas cleaned up. — NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
Mock Draft Results
Rookie year impact
Thomas has the tools to make a difference as a a run and pass blocker, but he seems appears to be more suited for run blocking now. His skill set would work best on a team an elite running back, like the New York Giants or Cleveland Browns. Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb could both benefit from having him on the front lines. But we also can’t rule out the New York Jets or Arizona Cardinals, who have versatile backs like Le’Veon Bell and Kenyan Drake. Both of them could be in for career years, and Thomas could be a big part of that.