1. Jedrick Wills – Alabama
Jedrick Wills represents arguably the best tackle prospect in the 2020 NFL draft. The 6’5″ and 320-pound tackle possesses a rare blend of strength, athleticism, and technique. The one knock on him is that he has only played at the right tackle position and it is unknown how he would handle a potential switch to the left side of the line.
Wills is the most fundamentally sound tackle in the draft. He is technically advanced at both run blocking and pass blocking, where most of his counterparts excel at one or the other. Wills is a mauler in pass blocking situations and a road grader in run blocking.
Massive strength is one of the best characteristics of Wills. He utilizes a strong leg drive to move opponents off of the ball. In addition, Wills possesses incredible upper body strength and extremely strong hands to deliver strong punches to defenders and easily handles bullrushes as a result.
In addition to being extremely strong, Wills features excellent footwork on the line. He has extremely quick feet and moves in a fluid manner for a man of his size. As a result, Wills has a great range of motion with incredible balance and control.
Wills is a pro at finishing blocks, often dumping rushers before releasing into space and getting into the second level of the defense to make additional blocks with the greatest of ease. In addition, he routinely gets a good vertical push on run blocking plays.
The former 5-star recruit is excellent at all facets of pass blocking, where he utilizes his long frame and great awareness to protect the quarterback. Wills also has the mean streak that franchises look for in their offensive linemen. He is passionate and not afraid to deliver epic trash talk to opponents. In addition, he is credited as having an extremely high football IQ.
The only reason that Wills might get leapfrogged by other tackle prospects in the draft is the uncertainty of whether or not he projects as a left tackle in the NFL. With the left tackle position guarding the blindside of the quarterback, it is a more premium position than the right tackle.
Many experts project Wills as a better right tackle or guard in the NFL. Regardless, he is more fundamentally sound than any tackle prospect in the draft and represents a player with an extremely bright future in the NFL.
The Giants would be wise to consider him with the fourth overall pick in the draft.
2. Andrew Thomas – Georgia
If the NY Giants feel that the left tackle position is the biggest priority, then Andrew Thomas is more likely to be the selection than Jedrick Willis, as Thomas is the highest-rated left tackle in the draft this year.
At 6’5″ and 320-pounds, Thomas definitely has the tall, girthy frame of an NFL tackle. Currently, he possesses elite run blocking ability and projects as a franchise left tackle in a power blocking scheme. However, while his pass blocking isn’t poor, there are concerns about him in pass blocking situations in a system with a quarterback needs additional time in the pocket.
Thomas needs to improve on his footwork in pass blocking and can have issues with better pass rushers. This would serve as a concern for the Giants who have a quarterback with a tendency to hold on to the ball a bit too long, as they would likely want Thomas to start at left tackle immediately.
That said, Thomas does project to be an excellent tackle in the NFL. He has quick feet, fluid hips, and is extremely athletic. Thomas does an excellent job with framing blocks well in pass blocking situations, has precision timing and a very high football IQ.
The player comparisons given to Andrew Thomas by draft experts should leave Giants fans excited about the possibility of drafting him. The player comparisons that he has drawn most are to Ronnie Stanley, Jason Peters and Trent Williams, all of whom are Pro Bowl tackles.
The Giants would likely need to use their fourth overall pick to select Thomas, something that they may not be willing to do given that game-changing defensive talents such as Isaiah Simmons and/or Jeff Okudah are likely to still be available at the fourth pick and the tackle position is so deep in this year’s draft that they likely can get a franchise tackle later in the draft.