Joe Thomas: Denver Broncos New Left Tackle?

spierson
Oct 9, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas (73) before the game against the New England Patriots at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Patriots won 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas (73) before the game against the New England Patriots at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Patriots won 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Could the Denver Broncos and John Elway pull off a draft day deal to land Joe Thomas, the coveted All-Pro left tackle from Cleveland?

Ahhh draft rumors. Every season as the media types start getting antsy. In that time between free agency and the draft, lots of rumors begin to fly. Some have merit, some are just crazy. Recently rumors have begun to stir about our beloved Broncos trading out of the first round in the upcoming draft.

This one strikes me as a little more than just talk as there have apparently been numerous discussions. The idea of trading away a first round pick has never been one that I love. It has worked in the past as Elway traded out of the first round in 2012 and ended up picking up some guy named Derek Wolfe in the second round.

Not a bad move there. However it goes without saying that a first round pick carries a lot of value. So what has Cleveland offered for the 20th pick in the first round?

Based on simple trade value charts, here is how it could go.

Cleveland would have to give Denver its send round pick (#33 overall, or the first pick in round two) along with its third rounder and another late round pick. That’s a pretty good haul for Elway and Co.

But what if Denver could land someone they’ve wanted for a few years instead? Hear me out on this one.

During the 2015 season, Elway pursued (and almost landed) stud left tackle Joe Thomas from Cleveland. Reports indicated that Cleveland wanted Denver’s first round pick in the 2016 draft. Winning the Super Bowl meant that would be the last pick in the first round. Of course Denver ended up trading that pick and moved up to take Paxton Lynch 26th overall.

If Cleveland was willing to make the move for a late first round pick two years ago, would they consider it this year as part of a deal for the 20th overall pick? I think so.

Given that there are a handful of quarterbacks that Cleveland has interest in that could be available at number 20, and reports say they may go with Myles Garrett at number 1 overall, it makes a lot of sense.

For Denver, should the players they covet at the 20th pick already be gone, why not address a need and land Thomas along with some more picks? Doesn’t an offensive line consisting of Thomas, Ronald Leary, Paradis, Garcia and Menelik Watson/Donald Stephenson sound a lot better than what we had last year? If you’re Cleveland and have a chance to start your annual rebuilding with Myles Garrett and perhaps Mitch Trubisky, wouldn’t you do it?

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Of course this is all speculation at this point. And if such a trade were to occur, I wouldn’t expect it to happen until during the draft. As both Denver and Cleveland would need to see how the draft unfolds before making such a move.

If Cleveland goes with Trubisky number one overall then this won’t happen as Garrett won’t fall to pick 20. But if Cleveland takes Garrett first overall, it will make for some intriguing television for Broncos fans. Especially as the draft moves towards Denver at number 20.

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