2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report


Andrew Thomas

July 3, 2019 11:00 PM EST


Andrew Thomas Scouting Report picture

School: Georgia

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 320

Eligibility: JR

Uniform: #71

Position: OT


Evaluated by: Austin Smith
smith.austinj14@gmail.com
July 3, 2019

Prospect Overview

Thomas was the most pleasant surprise I've had thus far evaluating potential 2020 NFL Draft prospects. The little I knew of him prior to watching his tape was that he had the size, length and athleticism that teams want in a franchise left tackle. However, there are plenty of players with those qualities that don't have the techniques and understanding of how to get the most out of them. Thomas is much further along in that development than I believed he would be, and I've gone from thinking he has first-round tools, to believing he might be the best left tackle candidate we have seen in several years. It didn't take him long to win the starting job at right tackle on a 2017 team that nearly defeated Alabama for a National Championship. Thomas not only helped block for a pair of 1,000-yards rushers (Nick Chubb, Sony Michel) that year but three different backs who averaged more than six yards per carry, while running the ball at least 80 times during the season. That rushing attack punished teams, and Thomas was named a Freshman All-American by nearly every platform for his efforts.


Andrew Thomas Scouting Report image 1

From there, he jumped over to the left side to replace eventual first-round pick, Isaiah Wynn. Once again, Thomas was part of a group that led to a pair of backs (D'Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield) eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark. Also, with Thomas protecting the blind side, Georgia's passing attack saw their average yards per game increase by 50 yards. For that, he found himself being named to practically every All-American list across the country. Now, Thomas comes back to man the left tackle position on a team poised to make another run at a National Championship, and while names like Jake Fromm and Swift get all the headlines, no one may be more important to that offense's success and balance than he.

Positives

As I mentioned, Thomas looks the part. Listed at six feet, five inches, he has very good arm length and a thick frame. Thomas' feet are extremely fluid for a player his size, and I don't anticipate him having any limitations against some of the better speed rushers in the NFL. We got a brief opportunity to measure that when he took on Josh Allen of Kentucky. Allen didn't faceoff with him often, but when he did, Thomas's athleticism shut him down to the point where Allen stopped his rush multiple times to either catch the quarterback escaping or get his hands up in a passing lane.

Andrew Thomnas Scouting Report image 2

Even more impressive was how explosive he was as an athlete. When he fires off the ball, he beats defenders out of their stance. He translates that initial explosion to power and drives them backward. When Thomas is asked to get up to the second level, his quickness is even more noticeable. There were snaps where he was responsible for cutting off the backside linebacker and was on him before the defender had a chance to get into pursuit. When you are 320 pounds and getting to a player three to five yards away before they can react, that is special. There are a lot of tight ends I've scouted that don't fire off the ball like Thomas. His athleticism is also very good in the open field when he pulls or gets out on screens, although he could be quicker locating his target.

Perhaps the most impressive trait is the leverage Thomas plays with on a regular basis. His pad level is usually spot on, as he bends his knees, flattens his back and gets under his opponent. Whether mirroring in pass protection or driving players off the ball in the run, he is always low and when he adds more strength to his lower half, this guy is going to be that much more domineering. Thomas also shows a strong, initial punch, and he has proven that no stage is too big for him.

Areas for Improvement

As impressed as I have been with Thomas, there are some little things that I'm hoping to see him improve on as a junior. For starters, there are times when he fires off the ball and drops his head. It causes Thomas to miss with his punch, as well as putting him off balance. He occasionally does it in pass protection as well, and once again, his balance suffers. His footwork can also be a bit sloppy when pass-blocking. As I mentioned, he has very light feet, but sometimes his steps get too long, and it makes him vulnerable. He's got to slide his feet as opposed to almost stomping them, and take advantage of how quick his feet can be in this area.


Andrew Thomas Scouting Report image 3

I also think he gets too aggressive at times. Usually, it's important to have an aggressive nature as a blocker, but there are snaps when he times his aggression wrong and ends up lunging. In pass protection, I want him to be patient and make the defender come to him because the truth is, he will rarely be out of position thanks to his athleticism. With that in mind, make the defender come to you. It also got the best of him in some well-designed blitzes by LSU. His man would initially come upfield before dropping, and with him committed to the end, a linebacker or defensive back would fly right by him. He even lets his aggression get out of hand on chip blocks where he gets off the initial block too late. However, against Alabama and Texas, he was much better in this area.

Thomas could also stand to get stronger. Watching his tape, you see a very powerful player, but that has more to do with the combination of his explosiveness and leverage. The truth is, once he gets a guy moving he can get thrown off the block. I want to see him get stronger with his hands once he latches on, as well as in his lower half to keep guys moving once he's got them on skates. With added strength and a little more discipline, this guy could be a monster at one of the most important positions on the field. He has occasionally struggled with more powerful players, but on the occasions he got matched up with Auburn's Derrick Brown, he showed that he can handle power.


Andrew Thomas Scouting Report image 4

Draft Stock

I have to admit, I think this guy could be one of the top prospects in the 2020 class if he declares. I've still got a lot of players to evaluate, but when you combine Thomas' skill-set with his production at the left tackle position, you get a grade that belongs near the top. He has areas he can improve with his technique, but I fully expect him to continue to develop as a junior, which could make him the top offensive tackle I've graded since Tyron Smith. Thomas is a hard worker which is evident, based on the fact that he was little hefty coming out of high school. He continues to remake his body, and weight should not be an issue for him through his career. Thomas doesn't have any issues away from the field, but on it, he is a competitor. He showed up at Georgia as the 40th overall recruit in the nation and seized a starting job in camp. Thomas has continued to develop against SEC defenders, and he's never looked out of place. He did miss a few games in 2018 after being rolled up on in both the South Carolina and Florida games, but outside of that, there are no injury concerns.

Player Comparison

His top-heavy build, as well as the leverage he plays with and those feet remind me of a pair of All-Pro's in Trent Williams and Jason Peters. I'm not saying he will have that kind of career, but when Williams was coming out of Oklahoma, he had a very similar skillset. He was a monster blocking for the run, yet his feet screamed left tackle. Williams needed to be more disciplined with his footwork and balance, but he put in the work and became the Redskins most consistent offensive player for nearly a decade. Also, not many offensive linemen fire off the snap like Peters, who actually played tight end most of his collegiate career, and I see that kind of athleticism in Thomas. He's not a carbon copy of either, but like both, I expect him to be a very successful left tackle for a long time during his professional career.

Games Evaluated

vs. South Carolina (9-8-18)
vs. Tennessee (9-29-18)
vs. LSU (10-13-18)
vs. Florida (10-27-18)
vs. Kentucky (11-3-18)
vs. Auburn (11-10-18)
vs. Alabama (12-1-18)
vs. Texas (1-1-19)

Notes from Film

  • Outstanding feet for his size but footwork needs to be more disciplined
  • Prototypical build for a tackle: Tall, Thick Frame, Long Arms
  • Plays with textbook leverage for a big guy. Bends his knees, flattens his back and drives defenders. When he gets under you on a run play, you're going for a ride
  • Showing very good balance with the ability to recover quickly, thanks to his feet
  • Explodes off the snap and gets to the second level quickly. Judging by this, I would expect him to be one of the faster offensive linemen in the country
  • Got to be careful to keep his head up when he fires off the snap, missed once or twice against Tennessee because the player across from him hesitated, putting Thomas off balance
  • He also occasionally gets a little too aggressive in pass protection and lunges as opposed to staying patient. With his power and arm length, there is no reason for him not to wait patiently. This also hurts him with his awareness. LSU ran a delayed blitz at him that he whiffed on because he was going after the man across from him who hesitated then dropped into coverage
  • Times when he gets caught up on initial defender too long on chip blocks. Needs to disengage and move up to the second level with better timing.
  • He wore down in the Tennessee game and started playing higher and lunging
  • LSU tape has been very inconsistent. Pad level is high. Footwork is sloppy. Balance is off. Bending at the waist and not the knees. Got embarrassed on a spin move playing tall and lunging at the pass rusher. I wonder if he got hurt at some point because he isn't even moving the same.
  • Looked better the following week against Florida before getting rolled up on and exiting the game.
  • While we see him drive players off the ball, it has more to do with his leverage than his lower body strength. Legs are a bit thin and could use some added bulk
  • Didn't matchup with Josh Allen a ton during the Kentucky game but when he did, Allen had zero success against him. The player that did beat Thomas a few times was Calvin Taylor Jr. Listed at six feet, nine inches, Taylor's power got the best of Thomas a few times. Played pretty well in limited snaps against Derrick Brown the following week against Auburn.
  • Alabama and Texas performances were impressive
  • Has a pretty strong hands but there are times when he engages with defender then gets tossed or loses balance allowing the defender to disengage. Sustaining his blocks to the whistle is something that could take his game to the next level


Scouting Video Courtesy of DeludedYinzer




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