Andrew Thomas has fielded several virtual interviews leading up to the 2020 NFL draft that includes meetings with the Browns, Dolphins and Giants along with other teams that own one of the top 10 picks in the draft. When asked about his meeting with the Browns, Thomas, the standout offensive tackle out of Georgia, said that he had a "very smooth" conversation with Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry.
"Andrew said I had a lot of the intangibles that they're looking to add to their team, good character," Thomas said, via Mary Cay Kabot of Cleveland.com. "They feel that translates to playing on the field, so I feel that's something I have."
Thomas said that Berry also values his athleticism after playing in Georgia's wide zone scheme, a scheme that helped fellow draft prospect D'Andre Swift amass 6,436 all-purpose yards in three years with the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Thomas is also versatile after spending time at both tackle positions during his time at Georgia. In Cleveland, he would play left tackle (where he started during his final two years with the Bulldogs) after the Browns signed Jack Conklin to be their right tackle earlier this offseason.
"I played three years in the SEC at both right tackle and left tackle," said Thomas, the third-best lineman in the draft according to CBS Sports prospect rankings. "I dominated every year and I feel like I'm the best tackle in this class."
Thomas said that it would be "an honor" to block for Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner whose Oklahoma Sooners lost to Thomas' Bulldogs in that year's Rose Bowl. Thomas, who also said that he would embrace the challenge of following in Joe Thomas' footsteps if he is drafted by the Browns, would also be excited about joining a Cleveland offense that also includes running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Austin Hooper.
"The Browns are a team on the rise," Thomas said. "They have all the pieces they need and it's just a matter of time before they put it all together and compete for a Super Bowl."
Thomas may very well get his wish. CBS NFL draft analysts Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso both have him going to the Browns with the 10th overall pick in their most recent mock drafts. On Friday, Berry alluded to the team's priority to build a strong offensive line.
"For us, having a young quarterback and being an organization that we want to make sure we can be quarterback-centric and make sure that position has a lot of success, the offensive line is always going to be a priority," Berry said. "That is not just this year but any given year because if we can't protect the quarterback and we can't create holes in the run game, then it is going to be a really tough challenge for our skill players to produce and play at a high level. It really does start there. I know those guys end up being a bit of unsung heroes, but that is something that has been a focus of ours and will continue to be a focus of ours in each successive offseason."