Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the second annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 280 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2020 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). New features for this year include unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, and—for the first time ever—the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points.
Continuing our position-by-position preview of this year’s draft class, we shift our focus to offensive tackles. As a scouting staff, we use common terminology to grade every trait that we evaluate. We use a 1-9 scale with a 1 representing a “Reject” grade and a 9 meaning a “Rare” grade for whatever trait we are evaluating. We spend a lot of time in our internal Scout School making sure that our scales are calibrated with one another, and this common scale and set of language is a key aspect to ensuring that our evaluations are consistent (that…and cross-checks).
Additionally, for each position in the book, there are positional grading scales. As opposed to grading traits, these scales apply to stacking the final grades for each prospect. The final offensive tackle scale is as follows:
|9.0-7.0||High-end starter. Pro Bowl level.|
|6.9-6.7||Strong starter with 2 position flexibility.|
|6.6-6.5||Lower end starter who plays only 1 position.|
|6.3||3rd OT. Swing OT that plays RT and LT.|
|6.1-6.0||Developmental. Top traits but needs time.|
|5.9||Backup LT. 1 position player.|
|5.8||Backup RT. 1 position player.|
|5.7||4th OT. Functional depth level player.|
Andrew Thomas: OT Rank 1 of 19 | Final Grade: 6.9
Report by Ronan Potts, Tom Ferner, & Ryan Young
Thomas is an athletic freak at left tackle, with the intelligence, footwork, body control and ability in both phases of the game to be a high-end starter at the next level.
Thomas is a left tackle in Georgia’s pro-style, zone run offense. He has started all 41 career games that he has played, starting 15 games at RT as a true freshman and then playing 26 games at LT over the past two seasons. Thomas is a solid athlete with a good frame and size. He carries a little extra weight, but is distributed evenly. He has very good footwork and good flexibility to go with his high motor and impressive lateral agility and balance. He consistently competes with toughness on each play.
In the pass game, Thomas performs in an effective manner most of the time, showing a good understanding of his assignments. He has solid anchor strength against pass rushers, rarely ever giving ground when matched up one-on-one with power rushers. He fares similarly with speed rushers, using his impressive athleticism and agility to win his matchup most of the time.
His hand use will need to be coached up at the next level, as he seems to be more reactive than proactive with his hands. He tends to be too wide with his hand placement and sometimes gets his hands on the outside of his opponents’ pads, which could lead to problems with holding calls against NFL competition. This also causes some overextending at the POA. When he does actually have his hands on someone, however, his strength is in full display, as he often overpowers his opponent and shows a tremendous ability to sustain and finish his blocks. Thomas is very alert when it comes to different types of rushes, consistently picking up on stunts and delayed blitzes, as well as helping his quarterback to call out different protections when necessary.
In the run game, Thomas has a mauler mentality with good technique. He has shown flashes of brilliance in Georgia’s zone blocking scheme, which allows him to take full advantage of his lateral agility, range, and second level ability. He consistently wins his matchups in the run game, blowing defensive linemen off the ball with his power and leg drive while sustaining and finishing his blocks.
Thomas projects as a high-end starting left tackle, with the ability to be a high-end starter at right tackle as well, if needed. His athletic talents would likely best be taken advantage of in a zone run scheme, but he is talented enough to play at a high level in any scheme that may be asked of him.
|Vertical push||Consistent hand placement|
|Footwork||Overextends at times|
|Penalties||Blown Block Splits|
|Zone Run Blocking||Gap Run Blocking||Pass Block|
|Year||% of Runs||Y/A||Pos%||% of Runs||Y/A||Pos%||Pressure%|
|Blown Block %||When Running to his Gap||Total Points|