Georgia’s Andrew Thomas finds a home in the NFL

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Georgia’s Andrew Thomas finds a home in the NFL

Andrew Thomas (71) - Georgia vs. Florida 2019 - Fourth Quarter - November 04, 2019
Andrew Thomas (71) – Georgia vs. Florida 2019 – Fourth Quarter – November 04, 2019

Former Georgia offensive linemen Andrew Thomas didn’t have to wait long on Thursday night during the NFL Draft as he was selected fourth overall by the New York Giants.

Throughout the past week, it seemed like NFL Draft analysts were really overthinking things when it came to Thomas. Some had him still going in the first round, but trickling down the board the closer it came to draft time. Those analysts typically tend to get their information from NFL front offices, and that’s why those assumptions were made.

Regardless, in a draft loaded full of offensive tackles, it came to no surprise that he was picked this early.

“Hey, Andrew. I’m super proud of you. I couldn’t be happier, man,” said Kirby Smart in a video he released from his Twitter. “It’s a lifelong dream. I remember the first time I met you in recruiting coming out of Pace [Academy] with coach Slade. There are so many good football players coming out of there, and I am happy to see you reach your goals. “

“You’ve been a three-year starter at the University of Georgia. You played a lot of great competition in three years, and competed everyday to get better. We can’t be any more thankful as a family here at UGA for what you did for our program. I still remember you coming over and speaking at the West Endzone dedication, and it was one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. It came from the heart. It wasn’t memorized or read. I know you’ve got a bright future and we can’t wait to see you be an NFL dog and come back to visit our players because you meant so much to me and the University of Georgia.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-5, 315-pound three-year starter at Georgia with 36 1/8″ long arms, has all of the tools that NFL teams were looking for. The former All-American is very versatile and can play on either side of the line if needed.

“I think I’m all-around the best,” Thomas said at the NFL combine, asked to measure himself against other offensive tackles in the draft class. “I can run block, I can pass block, I’m coachable, I’m a technician, and I think that makes me the best.”

In Thomas’ three-year career at UGA, he started in 41 of 42 games. According to Pro Football Focus during that time, Thomas allowed just 37 pressures, with just nine pressures surrendered in 2019.

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His first 15 starts came at right tackle as a true freshman during Georgia’s 2017 national championship run. That run included playing in the SEC Championship game, the Rose Bowl, and of course, the national title game. He was named a freshman All-American at the end of 2017 by multiple publications.

Thomas made the move to left tackle as a sophomore where he started in 13 of 14 games. The only game he missed in his career was in 2018 when Georgia played Middle Tennessee State. The week before against South Carolina, he suffered a sprained ankle in Georgia’s win 41-17 win over the Gamecocks. At season’s end, he was named as a second-team All-American.

During his junior campaign, Thomas started in 13 games, including his third straight SEC Championship. He elected to miss Georgia’s game against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl to prepare for the NFL Draft. He earned an abundance of honors including Walter Camp All-America first team, All-SEC first team by Coaches and Associated Press, and was named a semifinalist for the 2019 Outland Trophy.

Unfortunately, he was snubbed from winning the Outland Trophy but got the last laugh on Thursday night as he was the first offensive tackle selected.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.