Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has been an icon to fans since he was drafted with the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Thomas has not missed a single snap during his six-year career and has made the Pro Bowl every year since being drafted. He is the only player on the team who is signed all the way through the 2018 season.
Still, after all of that, it has to feel a little special when the best offensive tackle in a draft class cites you as the person they looked up to growing up. That is what happened on Thursday, when Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel, who is listed as the No. 1 player on Mocking the Draft's big board, spoke with the media:
(On what NFL lineman he looked up growing up) - "Well, in high school and all that, I watched Joe Thomas. He’s definitely the guy I loved to watch. I love the way he plays. I don’t know about his weight room numbers and stuff like that, but he’s just one of those guys that looks like he’s got that brute strength, lumberjack strength, and I kind of pride myself on that too. A guy who doesn’t get pushed around too much, and great pass block. Plays hard, plays to the whistle. That’s the guy I watched in high school."
Well done, Joeckel. There's no chance that he will join the Browns come April, considering the team's investments at left and right tackle (Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz), but if he was looking to score bonus points with his interview, this was the way to do it.