Georgia product Andrew Thomas entered the 2020 NFL Draft touted as the offensive lineman with the highest floor among those generally regarded as the top of the class at the position, beating out Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills and Tristan Wirfs as the safest prospect available.
Many experts not only praised him for his high floor, but also thought he would be the best tackle in the draft for a team that needed immediate help, such as Steve Palazzolo from Pro Football Focus.
Is a bottom-five offensive tackle in the entire NFL what you'd consider a high floor selection that immediately made an impact?
Probably not, but that's what NFL and line analyst Brandon Thorn of Establish The Run is labeling Andrew Thomas after five weeks of the 2020 season. Thorn was one of many experts who were asked about Thomas and his struggles early on in his rookie year, their responses compiled by Zack Rosenblatt and Darryl Slater of NJ.com.
"He's kind of a mess right now, technically, just from the ground up, starting with his footwork in his pass sets," Thorn told NJ.com. "He's being too aggressive. Good rushers — and even not-good rushers — are taking advantage."
You can categorize Cowboys two-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Lawrence as one of those rushers who has been able to exploit Thomas' shoddy footwork, coming up with a big play in Week 5.
Even Giants offensive line coach Marc Colombo publicly acknowledge Thomas' fundamental issues, calling him out for "over-shooting his target" and committing a "cardinal sin" for losing defensive linemen after inside moves (via Dan Duggan).
The film and the technique aren't the only things that support the hypothesis that Thomas isn't off to the greatest of starts. Looking at the stats says the same thing. Through five weeks, he's been charged with four sacks, 28 pressures and three hits allowed (h/t Matt Lombardo). When compared to the other three linemen that will forever be inextricably linked to Thomas, it gets even worse. Thomas has allowed more pressures than Becton, Wills and Wirfs... combined (h/t SNY).
And in Week 6 and Week 7, the competition up front doesn't get much easier. He'll get one of the only three players that was drafted ahead of him in 2020 as a matchup for Week 6, as Ohio State standout Chase Young is coming to town and is reportedly excited to face the man who he called "the best offensive lineman" in college football in 2019 (via Sam Fortier). Then comes a date with the Eagles, who currently boast a defensive front that has recorded 18 sacks, the third most in the NFL.
While it's way, way too early to lose confidence in Thomas completely — you shouldn't do that to practically anyone after five games of his rookie season — all of these issues probably warrant some concern.