Moments after the Giants surprised everyone by selecting offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, ESPN turned the broadcast to NFL Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah for his take on the move. Long story short, Jeremiah said Thomas was his fourth-rated tackle in this year's class and not even a Top-10 pick.
Right after that, respected NFL analyst Louis Riddick said he agreed with Jeremiah. Beyond them, Mel Kiper had Thomas as his fourth offensive tackle taken in his final mock and Todd McShay had Thomas as the 16th-ranked prospect in this draft.
You know who clearly doesn't agree with those four experts? Giants GM Dave Gettleman, who picked Thomas No. 4 and attached his employment with the Giants to a lineman seemingly everyone agrees has a high floor, but low ceiling.
It's not going to end well for Gettleman.
This offseason, rumors have already bubbled up suggesting Gettleman has this season to turn the Giants into a winner or he's out. The Giants have gone 9-23 since he took over as GM in 2018, their roster has holes at virtually every position, and he's lost the fan base's faith through his questionable draft decisions, trades, and hatred for analytics. After a lackluster free agency period highlighted by overpaying for cornerback James Bradberry (three years, $43.5 million) and franchise-tagging Leonard Williams, who they gave up draft picks to acquire, the Giants needed to make every pick in this draft count.
They didn't do that with the No. 4 pick.
Thomas isn't going to come in and transform the Giants' offensive line. Hell, he might not even start over Nate Solder at left tackle, though Solder did admittedly have a bad season last year. Regardless, Thomas isn't a franchise-changer, which at No. 4, you have to have, especially when you consider the pay scale is somewhere around four-years and $32 million for that draft slot.
Many expected the Giants to trade back at No. 4 and still pick an offensive lineman. Gettleman, who has never traded back in the first round in his time as a GM around the NFL, stayed pat and made a questionable pick. Not the first time he's done that.
While Saquon Barkley is a great player, picking him at No. 2 in 2018 has hamstrung the Giants in terms of cap space dedicated to a position winnings teams don't overpay for. The next year, Gettleman picked Daniel Jones at No. 6 when most draft experts believed the Duke QB would be available in the late teens at minimum. With the Giants' other two first-round picks in 2019, Gettleman selected defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (No. 17) and cornerback Deandre Baker (No. 30). Lawrence had 38 total tackles and 2.5 sacks last year, while Baker had zero interceptions and only eight passes defended despite starting 15 games.
Throw in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, which hasn't been horrible considering the distraction OBJ was and continues to be but was still tough to swallow among the fanbase, and you've got a GM who had to make smart moves to build a winning team and regain trust among fans. He failed horribly once again this offseason and the draft is off to a bad start, too.
The Giants could have a defense featuring Bradley Chubb, Josh Allen and, this year, Isaiah Simmons, if Gettleman had been smart the last three years in the draft. Instead, he overpaid for a running back, over-picked a quarterback, and over-picked an offensive lineman.
He's insisted on doing things his way, sans technology, based on his own evaluation. It will result in him getting fired at the end of next season. That is, unless he pulls a rabbit out of the hat the rest of the draft and offseason. Don't see that happening based on everything listed above.