Green Bay packers may have found another gem in Zack Tom

In recent history, the Green Bay Packers have provided one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Since taking over as General Manager of the Packers, Brian Gutekunst has focused on the offensive line. In the five drafts overseen by Gutekunst, he selected 11 offensive linemen. Of course, the award gem for that group is Elgton Jenkins. Jenkins was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and the offensive lineman became everything. Gutekunst and the Packers hope to have achieved gold again. So far in training camp, Zach Tom has the appearance of another strong addition to the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line.

Green Bay packers may have found another gem in Zack Tom

While Gutekunst should be commended for the work he did on the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line, he did get some help. It’s no coincidence that the Packers’ success in selecting offensive navigators began when Milt Hendrickson joined the Packers front office.

Hendrickson joined the Packers front office as Director of Football Operations prior to the 2019 NFL Draft. Hendrickson, a Wisconsin native, worked for the Baltimore Ravens from 2005-2019. Ravens have made a name for themselves in selecting and developing offensive supplements. Hendrickson brought this success to Green Bay when it came to selecting the offensive line of the Green Bay Packers.

Since Hendrickson joined the Packers, the Packers have selected seven offensive navigators. Of these seven selections, four are current starters for the Packers. That group includes Jenkins (2019, second round), John Runyan Jr (2020, sixth round), Royce Newman (2021, fourth round), and Josh Myers (2021, second round). Even with the success they’ve had in previous drafts, Gutekunst and Hendrickson didn’t stop when it came to the 2022 NFL Draft.

This year’s draft category included three offensive navigators. Sean Ryan (third round), Tom (fourth round), and Rashid Walker (seventh inning) were selected in this year’s NFL Draft. Ryan has received most of the attention, for being a featured player at UCLA. But so far at the start of bootcamp, it seems like Zach Tom can see the most movement out of the novices.

Tom Fits checks all chests for the Green Bay Packers’ offensive lineman

It should come as no great surprise that Zach Tom is now a member of the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line. Former General Manager Ted Thompson was a huge fan of the selection of offensive linemen who have the flexibility to play across the offensive line. He succeeded with former college players, players like JC Tretter and TJ Lang, who played overseas in college and then were transferred to other positions in the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line.

Gutekunst and Hendrickson seem to have continued this approach. Jenkins was an all-American hub in Mississippi. With the Packers, he became an All-Pro left-hander and started to tackle center, left and right tackle as well. He was successful in every position. Runyan Jr. was a notable intervention at the University of Michigan before turning to guard duty with the Packers. Royce Newman spent some time dealing with Ole Miss. Last season, he started 16 games as a right keeper.

Tom appears to be another attacking man in the Green Bay Packers who brings with him positional flexibility. He started his career as a center at Wake Forest. At the center, he started 25 games and earned an honorable mention from the All-ACC in his second season. In 2020, Wake Forest was in need of a left-wing intervention. Tom turned outside.

He started 23 games overall at Wake Forest’s left tackle, nine in 2020 and 14 in 2021. Playing in his final season earned him the All-ACC title. His ability to play several positions, and indeed to excel in both in a major football conference, undoubtedly caught the attention of Gutkunst and Hendrickson. Tom fits what offensive line coach Luke Putkos and offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich are looking for in a forward line. It looks like Packers will be looking to take advantage of Tom’s ability to play multiple positions.

early chance

When Zach Tom arrived in Green Bay for OTAs this spring, it was unknown where he would start. But assertiveness soon had Tom take a cast on standby, a position he most expected to move up to at the NFL level. However, when training camp started, Tom found himself on the move again. This time out, an area where players may need help starting the season.

Jenkins and left tackle start David Bakhtiari recovering from knee injuries. As for Bakhtiari, when, or if, he will return he is still up in the air. Jenkins appears to be way ahead of schedule. Many predict that if Jenkins is ready to go early, it will be one of the key solutions when he returns. But even if Jenkins is ready to go, there will still be one chance when an offensive tackle is made.

This scenario opens an opportunity for Tom. So far in training camp, Tom has received representatives from the Green Bay Packers’ first-team offensive line on both right and left tackles. Andy Hermann of the Packaday Podcast was impressed by what he saw from Tom. So much so that he thinks Tom could be the second Packers offensive lineman he could be Five men offensive line.

The Packers not only introduced one of the best offensive lines in the NFL of late, but also one of the sport’s most offensive lines. Zach Tom has the make-up to be another cool find for the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line. He’s definitely one of the novices in the Packers to watch as he heads into action before the season.

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