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TBT: Looking back at Joe Thomas' draft day

JaMarcus Russell and Calvin Johnson were off the board. It the Cleveland Browns' turn with the No. 3 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, and the decision was ultimately a simple one.

Within a few minutes of Johnson's selection, then-general manager Phil Savage, inside the Browns' war room with the team's executives and scouts, announced the pick -- barring a crazy turn of events -- would be Wisconsin offensive lineman Joe Thomas. And the decision was a unanimous one.

Five minutes later, Thomas, fishing with his father at the time, was a Cleveland Brown.

"It might not be a sexy pick in April, but it will work in September," Savage told the room, according to a 2007 article. He later told the room "now we have some meat and potatoes on the table."

And, well, that's exactly what's happened.

The nine-time Pro Bowl veteran was ranked Wednesday at No. 23 on the NFL Network's "Top 100 players of 2016" list. Entering his 10th season, he's poised to be the backbone of a Browns offensive line that will break in at least two new starters in 2016.

"When I visited the Browns I felt right at home," Thomas said on his draft day. "I thought that might be where I land. They showed a lot of interest in me."

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