2022 NFL Draft: Zach Tom Scouting Report

Zach Tom NFL Draft
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Zach Tom NFL Draft Overview

Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6′-5″
Weight: 295 pounds
School: Wake Forest

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Zach Tom 2022 NFL Draft Profile

After spending his collegiate years with Wake Forest, offensive lineman Zach Tom is taking his talents to the next level in the 2022 NFL Draft. Tom, a redshirt senior, is coming a fantastic season at left tackle. During his 1,064 snaps, the Wake Forest allowed just three sacks, two hits, and eight hurries.

Tom originally joined the college football ranks as a three-star recruit. After spending his early years on the bench, Tom finally earned a starting job in 2019, playing 1,030 snaps at center without allowing a sack. Tom moved to left tackle in 2020, seeing the field for 674 snaps while allowing just one sack, three hits, and eight hurries.

Strengths

  • Great pass protector – only allowed one pressure per game last year;
  • Versatility to play multiple positions in a pinch;
  • Fantastic ability to mirror defenders with his feet – never out of position;
  • Big, strong hands that can control opposing pass rushers;
  • Quick on his feet and doesn’t lose to speed;
  • Intelligent player that doesn’t get fooled by stunts or blitzes.

Weaknesses

  • His patience in pass blocking does not work for run blocking – must be more aggressive there;
  • Lower anchor strength needs to improve – can lose to straight bull rushes;
  • Doesn’t attack in the run game;
  • Lacks the prototypical build of a traditional tackle – might have to move back to center;
  • Lower body strength needs to improve.

NFL Comparison: Early career David Andrews at center, Jake Matthews at tackle

Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Washington Commanders

Projection: Round 3-4

Bottom Line on Zach Tom

Zach Tom is one of the hardest evaluations in this entire class. After spending 2019 at center, the Wake Forest product spent the past two seasons at left tackle and played pretty well at the position. Despite his lack of size, Tom was one of the best in the country in pass protection, rarely allowing any pressure in an offense that couldn’t stop throwing the ball. His football IQ is one of the best in the class, and his quick footwork allows him to never get too far out of position.

If he were 6′-7″ and 315 pounds, he might be a first rounder. However, there are concerns that he will be too small to play tackle at the NFL level and will have to move back to center. If this happens, his lack of strength could be more of an issue. Run blocking matters a lot more on the interior than it does out wide, and Tom is going to struggle to anchor against bigger, stronger defensive tackles. These types of players are all strength and no agility, and that plays to Tom’s weaknesses.

Personally, Tom’s situation reminds me of what happened with Rashawn Slater and Isaiah Wynn. While Tom isn’t as good of a prospect as those two, both players were deemed too small to play tackle by some NFL Draft evaluators. However, both players stuck at the position in the NFL, with Slater already looking like one of the best in the league. Again, Tom doesn’t have that type of ceiling, but his impressive play at Wake Forest should earn him the right to give tackle a shot at the NFL level. In a best-case scenario, he adds some strength and turns into a solid all-around starter at tackle. In a worst-case scenario, he’ll be an average to slightly below center with valuable positional versatility.

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