Thomas, Greco to appear at Suzie’s draft party


Suzie’s hosting draft party Thursday

By Dan Hiner

dhiner@vindy.com

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During the 2007 NFL Draft, former Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas was fishing with his father in Wisconsin.

Thomas was selected by the Browns with the 3rd overall pick and the rest is history.

After retiring following an 11-year career, the future Pro Football Hall of Famer can once again watch the draft as a fan. But he won’t spend his time in Cleveland.

Thomas will be at Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts in Boardman on Thursday for an autograph session during the NFL Draft.

The meet and greet will be from 7-9 p.m. during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Former Boardman Spartan and Browns guard John Greco will also be in attendance.

“[Greco’s] always a guy who kows where the good hangout spots are, where the good places to eat are,” Thomas said. “I’ve been able to spend some good time in Youngstown throughout my career.

“I’ve got a few buddies in the Boardman/Youngstown area. Been doing some fishing and hunting over the years. It’s fun getting back.”

With the Browns searching for an answer at quarterback, Cleveland has been linked to each of the top four quarterbacks in the Thursday’s draft.

Reports over the last three months have the Browns picking between USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Wyoming’s Josh Allen.

But Thomas thinks Browns fans shouldn’t buy into the media reports and months of mock drafts. Instead, fans should enjoy the chaos.

“That’s what’s fun about being a fan and watching the draft — trying to speculate and figure out who they should draft, who you think they’re gonna draft,” Thomas said.

“And really there’s such a few amount of people from each team who actually know who the teams want to draft. I would speculate in Cleveland, there’s only two, maybe three guys that have any idea who the first pick’s probably going to be. So anything you hear in the media is just as likely to be false.”

Thomas wanted to spend time with his father when he was drafted because he knew the draft “from that point on was going to be a lot different.”

Now he wants to spend the weekend watching the three-day event unfold, but he knows things are different since he won’t see the Browns’ rookies in the locker room.

“It will be a little bit different, especially not getting to know those guys on a real personal level — being in the locker room with ‘em,” Thomas said. “But I’m looking forward to watching this draft and watching the season as a fan — just totally enjoy the wins and losses, the ups and downs of the season as a fan.”

The 10-time Pro Bowler talked about how proud Youngstown is of Greco and hopes Browns fans will enjoy the opportunity to connect with the former Browns offensive linemen.

“I hope it’s a fun night for everyone with the draft playing and the excitement around the draft,” Thomas said. “For a Browns fan, that should be an added dose of excitement.

“You got the great John Greco, Youngstown’s finest — the great first son. It should be a lot of fun getting those rowdy people together.”

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