NFL Draft 2021: Could Giants’ Dave Gettleman pick offensive lineman in Round 1 again, after investing in Andrew Thomas?

Last year, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman attempted to draft his left tackle of the future, by picking Andrew Thomas fourth overall.

After Thomas’ rocky rookie season, it remains unclear if he’ll actually become the Giants’ long-term left tackle solution.

Gettleman isn’t going to draft Thomas’ replacement in 2021, of course. But could Gettleman address the offensive line in Round 1 again?

That’s the latest projection from CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson, who has the Giants going with USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 11.

Here’s the rationale for the pick:

The Giants need pass rush help, but bolstering the offensive line may take priority. Andrew Thomas got better as the year progressed, but Vera-Tucker proved in 2020 that he can play either guard or tackle and excelled while doing it.

In this mock draft, Vera-Tucker is the third offensive lineman off the board, after Oregon tackle Penei Sewell goes third to the Bengals (who traded up) and Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater (a versatile lineman) goes sixth to the Eagles.

The Giants have significant question marks at left guard, since Will Hernandez hasn’t impressed and Shane Lemieux (a fifth-round pick last year) might not be starter material. Ditto for right tackle Matt Peart, a third-round pick last year who will get a shot at replacing underwhelming starter Cam Fleming in 2021. Fleming likely will depart in free agency.

Gettleman has to feel better about left tackle (Thomas), right guard (Kevin Zeitler), and…

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