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Browns’ Joe Thomas: Select a pass rusher with No. 1 pick, not QB

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft three months away, future HOFer Joe Thomas gave his own opinion on what the Cleveland Browns should do with the No. 1 pick on The Dan Patrick Show Thursday.

“I would say you want to go defense,. I think you need to get a pass rusher. … You gotta be careful reaching for a quarterback at No. 1 because if they fail, they don’t help your team at all. Whereas if you pick a defensive lineman and maybe they don’t live up to the hype, you can still find a place to get him on the field and to have an impact. We’re a team that needs guys that can come in and start and that can contribute. I think that’s the risk of taking a quarterback.”

That defensive lineman is Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. Thomas isn’t alone in that thinking. While the Browns supposedly think very highly of the edge rusher, both CBS and Bleacher Report have them taking Garrett with the first overall pick.

While the Browns continue to lose, No. 73 has (somehow) been nothing but positive about where the team is headed. Although it seems the Browns have been rebuilding since 1999, they are still currently the worst team in the NFL. Thomas could be negative and ask for a trade to a playoff or Super Bowl contender. Instead, he’s sticking by head coach Hue Jackson and saying all of the right things.

One of the best players to ever put on the orange and brown uniform, the 6-foot-7, 311-pound tackle has started and played every snap in his 160-game career thus far. Whether it’s blocking for six (!) different quarterbacks in 2016 alone or being the anchor of the offensive line, Thomas knows how important it is for a team to win the battle in the trenches. And, he knows that Garrett is a player that could be in the opponent’s backfield to make plays much like the Los Angeles Chargers rookie and former Ohio State star Joey Bosa.

The draft is still three months away and the Browns still have plenty of time to evaluate different players to determine the top talent, but Garrett could give opposing offensive linemen nightmares for years. Thomas wants to be part of the Browns’ rebuild – again – and drafting a guy like Garrett would be a great building block going forward. Thomas knows it, draftniks know it, NFL scouts know it, and fans know it.

Don’t mess it up this time Browns.