How Fast is Future NFL Hall of Famer Joe Thomas In the Pool?

by Lucas Hetzel 37

September 12th, 2019 Masters, News

Ex-Cleveland Browns left tackle (and probable future NFL Hall of Famer) Joe Thomas was recently featured by United States Masters Swimming for losing an incredible 60 pounds since retiring from the NFL two years ago, a feat that he attributes, in large part, to swimming. Restricted by five knee injuries and brutal Wisconsin winters, Thomas decided to pick up swimming as something low impact that he could do year-round.

Thomas was a two-time All-American offensive tackle for the University of Wisconsin before being drafted number three overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2007 NFL Draft. He was also an NCAA National Championship meet qualifier in shot put for both the indoor and outdoor seasons for the Badgers in 2005. While playing for the Browns, Thomas played an NFL record 10,363 consecutive snaps and made 10 Pro Bowl teams. Always a fierce competitor, he is now looking for challengers in the water. He claims that his top-end speed is 30 seconds for a 25-yard freestyle, but judging by his turn in the video below, he could have a dangerous 50 in him.

In Cleveland, Thomas played with electric punt and kick returner Joshua Cribbs, who lettered in swimming in his time at Dunbar High School in Washington D.C. While Cribbs has the clear speed advantage over Thomas on land, a much-leaner Thomas could be gaining on Cribbs in the water.

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Josh Schneider
3 years ago


3 years ago

No surprise. The guy is a world class athlete.

2 Cents
3 years ago

I always liked this guy. I was never a Browns fan or a Wisconsin fan by any means but I still liked this guy. It all goes back to draft day when he was taken the same year as Reggie Bush, Leinart, and Vince Young. He didn’t go to the draft or sit in the green room waiting to be called or to be on TV to show off his new suit or jewelry. Instead he spent the day out in the ocean fishing with his dad when he got the call he had been drafted because it was a good chance to spend time with him before reporting to the mandatory rookie camps and optional workouts (which he always… Read more »

Steven Heaney
3 years ago

There was a school in Rochester NY back in the early 70s the Football coach had a rule. You want to play Football you’re on the Swim Team 100% compliance. Swim coach agreed with the plan huge team both size and body count. This was before I swam but the stories about this team were great.

3 years ago

Has anyone seen Ross Edgly’s podcast with Eddie Hall? Amazing!

Ernie and Bert
3 years ago

Would like to see Joe in water polo. He could clear a lot of space with his background.

3 years ago

Way to go! 3 years ago I started masters swimming as well after two decades away from my college days. With healthy eating and swimming I’ve dropped about 45 pounds myself. Not to mention feeling so much better overall physically and energy-wise.

Brad Flood
Reply to  Eouai
3 years ago

That’s Awesome! Good for you. Wishing you continued success.

3 years ago

He’s is incredibly cut. He looks like Gronkowski’s physique right now. Very impressive.