Packers' moves in 2024 NFL Draft will determine Zach Tom's future

Green Bay Packers, Zach Tom
Green Bay Packers, Zach Tom / Chris Unger/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers will strengthen their offensive line in the 2024 NFL Draft, but how they do it will reveal what's next for Zach Tom.

Tom has made an outstanding start to his NFL career, playing snaps across the offensive line before finding a full-time starting role at right tackle last season. Per PFF, Tom only allowed two sacks all season, including zero in 125 pass-blocking snaps against Cameron Jordan, Aidan Hutchinson, and T.J. Watt.

However, ESPN's Rob Demovsky revealed that Tom's future could be at center.

"I was told by a couple of people within the organization, they think Zach Tom is a Pro Bowl right tackle, an All-Pro guard, and a potential Hall-of-Fame center," Demovsky told the Wilde & Tausch show.

The Packers' draft moves will reveal clues about Tom's starting position in 2024 and beyond.

Packers' strategy in 2024 NFL Draft will provide clues about Zach Tom's future

One argument is that the Packers shouldn't overthink Tom's role. He reached a Pro Bowl level at right tackle for most of last season. Tom now enters his third year in the league and second as a full-time starter at right tackle, and the sky is the limit.

However, if the Packers believe he can be an All-Pro guard and Hall-of-Fame center, they should give him an opportunity inside.

How general manager Brian Gutekunst approaches the draft will give us a clue.

The Packers rarely draft guard-only prospects, preferring to bring in college tackles who can move inside. They have shown a willingness to draft college centers like Josh Myers and Corey Linsley, but it's less common at guard. Recent examples include Sean Rhyan, Royce Newman, Cole Van Lanen, and Jon Runyan, who all played tackle in college before moving inside for the Packers.

In this year's draft class, Duke's Graham Barton, Washington's Troy Fautanu, and Arizona's Jordan Morgan are among the early-round targets who played tackle in college but might be better inside in the NFL.

However, there are also out-and-out tackle prospects who played tackle in college and will continue there in the NFL.

That list includes Georgia's Amarius Mims and Oklahoma's Tyler Guyton. They have the size and athleticism to remain at tackle, and a move to guard is unlikely.

If the Packers draft a versatile lineman best suited for an interior role—Barton, for example, could play center in the NFL—it could indicate Tom will remain at right tackle. However, if they draft a top prospect like Mims, who played exclusively right tackle in college, it could be a sign Tom's future is at center.

It's a good problem to have, as Tom is a star and can line up anywhere along the line. How the Packers approach the draft could reveal their plans for Tom moving forward.

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