The Cleveland Browns have the No. 1 pick in the draft, and if they listen to their All-Pro offensive tackle, they won’t take a quarterback. Indeed, Joe Thomas believes that the Browns should avoid reaching for a quarterback and take a pass-rusher instead.


“I only agree with him because I don’t want to draft any of these quarterbacks,” Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan host Dustin Fox said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I want the Browns to do everything in their power to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. But who knows? Maybe they have to trade the No. 1 pick to get Jimmy Garoppolo and they’re stuck with the 12th pick. So I understand what Joe Thomas is saying. My take on it is Joe Thomas doesn’t want another rookie. Joe Thomas is 10 years in and is tired of having  to have a rookie, a young kid in the huddle trying to learn the system all over again. And I don’t think he wanted to throw his teammates under the bus because I think he likes Cody Kessler and Robert Griffin. But I tend to agree with his comments.”

Garoppolo, 25, has attempted just 94 passes in three NFL seasons, but Fox is sold on him.

“Part of it is what we’ve seen, which is a very small sample size,” Fox said. “But in his two games – or really a game-and-a-half that he played this year – he played about as perfect football as you can ask a guy to play. And then the other part of it is based on my conversations with people around the league. I have some people in New England who work in the front office who I’ve chatted with, and they don’t want to trade him. They don’t want to move him. People love him. They think this is the guy that will be the face of your franchise. One scout last night told me that if the Browns trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, they won’t have to worry about the position for 10 years. So I hear those things from people that I trust who have watched him play.

“And I liked him coming out,” Fox continued. “I liked him coming out of Eastern Illinois. Obviously the Browns passed on him. I liked him. I liked Derek Carr in that draft as well. So I think he’s a very talented kid who has experience now in New England. He’s been there three years. If you listen to the guy talk, he gets it. He is a guy that you could absolutely have be the CEO of your team, he has an unbelievable release, he has great pocket presence – I just think you fast-forward the deal. Stop screwing around with the rookies and teaching guys what it’s like to be in the NFL. Take the guy who’s a pro. It will cost them a lot in terms of draft picks and all that stuff, but that’s what I would do, and I think he would be perfect for what Hue Jackson wants to run offensively.”

The NFL Draft begins April 27 in Philadelphia.


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