Green Bay Packers rookie offensive lineman Zach Tom deserves to start.
Whether at guard or tackle, the Packers’ fourth-round selection has shown he’s ready to be part of the first-team offense in 2022.
The Packers have a great track record of finding talented, versatile linemen in the middle rounds. Like Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins, Tom can play all five positions.
Tom has been impressive all summer and has put together two excellent performances in the preseason.
According to Pro Football Focus, Tom has played on 36 pass-blocking snaps in the preseason, of which he has allowed zero pressures.
The question is, where could he start along the line?
When David Bakhtiari is back, the left tackle spot will be his. If he misses any time, Yosh Nijman is likely the top backup.
Jon Runyan Jr. is the most likely starter at left guard, while Josh Myers will start at center.
That leaves right guard and right tackle.
Once Elgton Jenkins is fully healthy, his most likely spot will be at right tackle. Should Jenkins miss the start of the season, Tom could start there.
Assuming Jenkins is ready for Week 1, right guard would make the most sense for Tom.
Royce Newman and Jake Hanson have played a lot of snaps at right guard with the first-team offense this summer, but Tom has shown he’s ready to start and should jump ahead of them both on the depth chart.
Tom spent time at right tackle in the preseason and has also recently practiced at both guard spots. The only place we haven’t seen him is center, but he played that position at college.
Tom’s versatility will get him on the field. He’s too talented not to be involved.
This summer, he has shown he is ready to start. Whether it’s at guard or tackle, the Packers need to include him in their starting five in Week 1.