Death, taxes, and the Green Bay Packers finding good offensive lineman. These are the three inevitables in life. The latest name that can be added to this list? 2022 fourth round pick Zach Tom out of Wake Forest. Tom was a player many draft analysts, myself included felt was a day two prospect in the draft. When he fell to the Packers in the fourth round I was ecstatic. He was a versatile piece for Wake Forest, playing over 1,700 snaps at LT and over a 1,000 at center. Coming into Green Bay the thought was he could easily compete for a starting job. Unfortunately the coaching staff felt Royce Newman and Jake Hanson were better players to put on the field so they did week one. Enter week one. Tom steps in and plays 30 snaps at LG due to injuries and while he didn’t perform amazing he wasn’t bad either. He had zero credited penalties and only gave up one pressure on 24 pass snaps. While his PFF grade was rather poor, I would say he still performed valiantly given all of the teams other week one problems. Now week seven happens. David Bakhtiari is out after aggravating the knee injury. The team opted to start Tom at LT after moving Yosh Nijman to the right side. There were some concerns as Tom would most likely be facing the Commanders pass rusher Montez Sweat. Tom ended the game playing 54 snaps, including 13 run blocking and 41 pass blocking snaps. Again he had zero credited penalties and this time gave up zero pressure as a LT. Now this was most certainly assisted by the short passing game the Packers ran against the Commanders, but even on bigger plays Tom held up very well. Now Tom was not graded very well as a run blocker, but I put little stock in that considering how little the team actually ran the football. As far as a pass blocker Tom has held up very well in the two games he’s played, demonstrating he can be a starting caliber offensive lineman, and is at least this teams sixth best offensive lineman, the first one to come off of the bench. Only time will tell if the Packers choose to stick with Tom as the swing lineman over Royce Newman, Jake Hanson, or even Yosh Nijman. My hope is they will as Tom has easily demonstrated his talent already. And in a season where wins, metaphorically and actually for the Green Bay Packers are hard to come by, it’s nice to say that the pick of Zach Tom was a win for this team.
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