In 2007, it was imperative that the Cleveland Browns drafted someone to protect the blindside of their quarterback, whoever it might be. The Browns eventually selected Joe Thomas from the Wisconsin Badgers and the rest is history. Now in his sixth year, the question remains: is Thomas worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
When you ask any Browns fan who they would have rather had in the 2007 NFL Draft, Thomas or Adrian Peterson, you will get mixed replies. Longtime fan Charles of Streetsboro, OH told me, “It was the right choice at the time.” I myself, remember sitting in my cousin’s living room for his draft party thinking, “please let us get this tackle from Wisconsin.” Others in the room wanted the star running back from the University of Oklahoma. But I knew just like Charles that Thomas was the right selection.
At the time, Cleveland was in desperate need of help on the offensive line. Our quarterbacks were getting destroyed. So, if a franchise left tackle was available to draft, the Browns had to be sure to take him and help was soon on the way.
As he reaches the end of his sixth season in the NFL, the beastly left tackle has made the Pro Bowl every year he has played. Thomas has anchored the o-line and protected the blindside of the ever changing carousel that is the Cleveland Browns quarterback position. The 6’6″ and 312 pound veteran has started 92 games in a row. What’s even more amazing is he has never missed a game.
With the exception of being a multi-millionaire, Thomas is a normal person like you and me. He is yet another blue-collar lunch pail type guy on this team that the Dawg Pound can rally behind.
Wearing No. 73, Doug Deiken‘s old number, Thomas has shot his way up to being known as one of the premier left tackles in the history of the game. Week after week, he matches up against the top defensive linemen in the NFL and protects the Browns’ passers as well as anyone in the league So what’s not to like about Thomas?
With his all out play every game, Thomas is one more player you should feel bad for in the fact that he has never been on a playoff team. With a couple more years under his belt, the former Badger should be a sure shot for the Hall of Fame when he hangs it up. Let’s just hope he has a ring or two to add to his resume. See you in Canton. Mr. Thomas.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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