The Giants had to adjust to one of the highest-profile opt outs, when left tackle Nate Solder chose to not play this year.
But rookie coach Joe Judge at least had the option of a high-profile replacement.
Via Tom Rock of Newsday, Judge said Friday that he had no qualms with using first-rounder Andrew Thomas at left tackle, rather than the apprenticeship on the right they had planned for the fourth-overall pick.
“The age of a player is something that’s never really bothered me,” Judge said. “We bring guys in to play. This isn’t like college where you bring guys in and they give you a redshirt year.”
Solder opted out (and left a $9.9 million base salary on the table for next year) because of health concerns with his family.
Judge didn’t explicitly lock Thomas into the left tackle spot, saying he planned to work all his linemen on both sides as he learns his new roster. But they drafted Thomas when they did for a reason.
“We still have to get on the field and practice and evaluate, and that’s at all of the positions,” Judge said. “We’ve got to see how these guys can perform under pressure and can handle the install and see how they perform when they are tired and in direct competition.”
Even though that direct competition won’t include any preseason games.