NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The first round of the NFL Draft went off without a hitch on Thursday night despite a complete overhaul to the process due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the entire league going virtual so as to abide by social distancing guidelines, each team’s general manager and coach set up their own personal war room in their house rather than at the team facilities. For both New York teams, they exited Thursday night with exactly what they needed, some protection for their young franchise quarterbacks.
The New York Giants selected Georgia’s Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick. A surprise to some, Thomas was beloved by many scouts due to his ability to play on either side of the line. General manager Dave Gettleman had high praise for the 21-year-old.
“He’s big and long and strong and he can bend,” said Gettleman in an interview with CBS 2’s Steve Overmyer. “He can anchor in pass protection. He’s very athletic in the open field. We are just really excited to have him and continue to build the team properly.”
For the Jets, it was much of the same when their turn came with the 11th overall pick of the night. They selected Combine star Mekhi Becton who, at 6’7″ 364 pounds turned in the fastest 40-time ever for a 350+ pound prospect at 5.1 seconds.
Becton, for his part, is excited to be headed to the Big Apple and he’ll come with a bit of a chip on his shoulder as he told Overmyer he expected to go higher.
“It was surreal when I got the call because I was pretty upset I didn’t go earlier,” said Becton. “When I got the call everybody was screaming and I couldn’t hear the call at first. I had to tell everybody to be quiet to hear the call. It was a great moment.”
Each team will get another crack at adding to their rosters tonight when the second and third rounds get underway. Heading into the night, the Giants hold the 36th pick (4th overall) while the Jets will hold the 48th selection.