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Joe Thomas - Hall of Fame 2023

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By the Numbers: A statistical look at Joe Thomas' Hall of Fame bid

Few offensive linemen in the history of pro football have the statistical resume as Thomas


When it comes to evaluating offensive linemen, stats don't always paint the full picture — there are only so many numbers that can be used to efficiently explain how well a blocker did their assignment on each play, or how much value they truly brought to their team.

Joe Thomas, however, could be considered an exception.

Thomas has plenty of stats to showcase how special he was. With numerous Pro Bowls, All-Pro nominations and the longest snap streak believed to be achieved by any player in NFL history, Thomas has a resume few offensive linemen in the history of pro football have ever matched. 

All of those numbers will be a key part of Thomas' case to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 as a first-ballot player. 

Thomas, considered one of the greatest offensive linemen of all time, might not need much of a campaign for enshrinement, but we're starting one anyway with a statistical look at what made him so special and where he'd fit among some of HOF numbers.

10 - Pro Bowl selections from Thomas, who is the only offensive lineman in league history to be voted to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls to start a career. He holds the Browns record for the most Pro Bowls, surpassing Jim Brown (nine) and Lou Groza (nine), who are both in the Hall of Fame.

5 - Thomas was the fifth player in NFL history to be voted to 10 straight Pro Bowls in their first 10 seasons. The four others (Merlin Olsen, Mel Renfro, Barry Sanders, Lawrence Taylor) all made the Hall of Fame.

6 - First-team All-Pro selections from Thomas, who compiled them for three straight years from 2009-11 and another three consecutive years from 2013-15.

10,363 - Anyone who followed Thomas' career knows what this number is for. He played 10,363 consecutive snaps across 11 NFL seasons, a feat that will likely never be broken again. From his first snap, a 2-yard gain from Jamal Lewis against the Steelers on Sept. 9, 2007, to his final snap, a 3-yard gain by Duke Johnson against the Titans on Oct. 22, 2017, Thomas became one of the most durable players in the history of the sport.

167 - Games played with the Browns, which ranks 12th among all players in franchise history. Thomas never missed a snap in any of them until his final game, when he tore his triceps on Oct. 22, 2017.

.004 - Thomas allowed just 30 sacks in 6,680 pass-block snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. That means he allowed a sack in an incredibly small .004 percent of pass plays across his career.

95.9 - Thomas' career pass-block grade from PFF was 95.9, which is the best among any player from the PFF era.

48 - The amount of wins the Browns had in Thomas' career. Despite the hard luck and string of disappointing seasons, Thomas continued to dedicate himself to the franchise and carve a legendary career.

20 - The number of starting quarterbacks Thomas blocked for. It started with Charlie Frye (for one game) in 2007 and ended with Cody Kessler in 2017. The Browns always had constant change at the QB position, but Thomas was steadfast in keeping their blindsides clean. Only one other NFL offensive lineman blocked for that many QBs: Kevin Grogan, who also blocked for 20.

52 - Thomas would be the 52nd modern-era offensive linemen in NFL history to be enshrined in Canton.

13 - Thomas would become the 13th offensive lineman in NFL history to be inducted as a first-ballot enshrinee.

7 - Thomas would become the seventh player to have played the majority or all of their career at offensive tackle to be inducted as a first-ballot enshrinee. He would join Jackie Slater, Jim Parker, Forrest Gregg, Walter Jones, Anthony Muñoz and Jonathan Ogden. Only Muñoz and Ogden have more Pro Bowls (each have 11) than Thomas.

18 - Thomas would be the 18th player in Browns franchise history to be enshrined in Canton and first since Mac Speedie was enshrined in the class of 2020. He would also be the first Browns player from the expansion era of the franchise to be inducted after the Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999.

6 - Thomas would be the sixth Browns offensive linemen to be enshrined in Canton and first since Gene Hickerson (Class of 2007).

127 - Thomas would be the 127th first-round pick in NFL history to be enshrined in Canton. He was drafted third overall from Wisconsin in 2007.

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