Joe Thomas - Hall of Fame 2023

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Where does Joe Thomas' career rank among other 1st-ballot Hall of Fame offensive tackles?

Hint: He’s right near the top of ‘em

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Joe Thomas has long been regarded as one of the greatest offensive tackles of all time.

But how many people really know where he lands — from a statistical standpoint — among the greatest tackles ever?

We're diving into that task here as Thomas, Browns fans and the bust makers in Canton await Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 announcements to see if Thomas cracks an induction in his first year on the ballot. 

On Thursday, we outlined all of the biggest numbers that suggest Thomas should be a lock for enshrinement on his first year on the ballot. Now, we're checking out how Thomas' top accolades compare to some of the other first-ballot Hall of Fame offensive tackles. 

The list isn't long — only six other tackles in NFL history have landed in Canton on their first year for enshrinement.

Thomas is likely to make it seven. 

Here's how it looks:

Joe Thomas

Games played: 167

Pro Bowls: 10

All-Pro selections: 8 (6 first team)

2010s All-Decade Team

Other notable achievements:

  • Streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps is believed to be longest all-time in NFL history
  • Only offensive lineman in league history to be voted to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls to begin his career and one of just five players ever to achieve the feat in their first 10 seasons
  • Allowed just 30 sacks in 6,680 pass-block snaps, which is a sack allowed in .004 percent of total pass plays, according to Pro Football Focus

Jackie Slater

Games played: 259

Pro Bowls: 7

All-Pro selections: 4 (zero first team)

Other notable achievements:

  • First player to play for 20 seasons with the same team and is tied for third-most seasons ever by an NFL player

Jim Parker

Games played: 135

Pro Bowls: 8 Pro Bowls

All-Pro selections: 10 (9 first team)

1950s All-Decade Team

Other notable achievements:

  • His eight Pro Bowls were all played in consecutive seasons

Forrest Gregg

Games played: 193

Pro Bowls: 9

All-Pro selections: 9 (7 first team)

1960s All-Decade Team

Other notable achievements:

  • Played in a then-league record of 188 consecutive games

Walter Jones

Games played: 180

Pro Bowls: 9

All-Pro selections: 6 (4 first team)

2000s All-Decade Team

Other notable achievements:

  • Started all 180 of his games played
  • Played on an offensive line that blocked holes for a 1,000-yard rusher for eight consecutive seasons

Anthony Muñoz

Games played: 185

Pro Bowls: 11

All-Pro selections: 11 (9 first team)

1980s All-Decade Team

Other notable achievements:

  • His Pro Bowl and All-Pro nominations all came in consecutive seasons
  • Missed only three games due to injury

Jonathan Ogden

Games played: 177

Pro Bowls: 11

All-Pro selections: 9 (4 first team)

2000s All-Decade Team

Other notable achievements:

  • Blocked for RB Jamal Lewis when he rushed for 2,066 yards in 2003, the third-highest single-season total in league history
  • 95.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2007 was highest grade ever for an offensive lineman in PFF era

Breakdown: Thomas has more Pro Bowl selections than four of the tackles on the first-ballot list and more All-Pro selections than two of them. Durability was also a major factor in each of the enshrinees first-ballot cases, and even though Thomas only played more games than just one player on the list, he is the record holder for the most consecutive snaps ever played by any NFL player. He also received the hallmark achievement of being named to an All-Decades team,

Thomas appears to fit right in with the group, and we'll find out Feb. 9 at the NFL Honors if the voters agree.

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