Joe Thomas thinks Browns should draft pass-rusher No. 1

ByPat McManamon ESPN logo
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Joe Thomas doesn't think the Cleveland Browns should use the draft's first overall pick on a quarterback.

"I would say you want to go defense," Thomas, a 10-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle, said Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show. "I think you need to get a pass-rusher."

Thomas would seem to be favoring defensive end Myles Garrett of Texas A&M, a player the Browns like and a player generally considered the best in the draft.

Thomas' take was interesting because he has stressed the importance of identifying and developing a franchise quarterback. He also has struggled through 18 starting quarterbacks since he was the third overall pick in the 2007 draft.

"You gotta be careful reaching for a quarterback at No. 1 because if they fail, they don't help your team at all," Thomas said. "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 need guys that can come in and start and that can contribute," he added.

The quarterbacks rated the highest by most draft analysts are Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina, Deshaun Watson of Clemson and DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame.

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