When you look at the record of Emmitt Smith and even Troy Aikman over the years, you will see staggering numbers that don't tell the whole story of the dominance for those Dallas Cowboys teams that won three Super Bowl titles in a four year span.
The whole truck-load of a story includes Nate Newton, Erik Williams, and the behemoth Larry Allen.
Those three powerdrivers, in particular, gave Emmitt Smith plenty of room to run, and made life so easy for Troy Aikman.
In order to be consistent in the NFL, you have to able to control the line of scrimmage. The idea is simple but the execution is much harder.
Phil Savage, in my mind, made a huge error in selecting Joe Thomas over Adrian Peterson. Joe Thomas has not made the Cleveland Browns any better, and not only that, Joe Thomas has contributed to the demise of one QB (Charlie Frye, traded to Seattle as a third string), demise and injuries to Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Dorsey and Grabowski (?). That's an amazing casualty list of QB injuries for a OLT supposed to protect the money position.
Coming out of college, people knew that Joe Thomas was weak, had short arms, and was coming off an injury. He also failed to turn up the Senior Bowl.
All the while, Adrian Peterson is running into the Hall of Fame.
People may say we didn't have the OL then, but come on, Phil Savage wasted 2 picks on Brady Quinn when those picks could have had 2 OGs! Phil Savage should have taken Jamaal Brown in 2005 over Braylon Edwards anyway.
Come the 2009 draft, the Browns are again in a rebuilding phase. Once again the Browns need to strengthen the trenches in order to compete in the Black-n-Blue division of the AFC North.
Mangini and Kokinis has to do the smart thing and select Andre Smith at No.5 to rebuild that OL that couldnt punch in from the goalline. The Browns lost all time of possession in 2008, prompting Romeo to play prevent to keep the score close.
The other name that should be on the top of the list is BJ Raji.
Andre Smith and BJ Raji are the only two names worth the No.5.....to the Cleveland Browns