October 2, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons offensive lineman Zach Tom (50) prepares to block Louisville Cardinals defensive lineman Tabarius Peterson (29) during the second quarter at Truist Field. Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
With the draft in just under 24 hours, news is still circulating on the pre-draft meetings. The Patriots are among the teams whose reports are coming in under the wire.
According to Network Project’s Justin MeloPatriots held pre-draft meeting with Wake Forest offensive lineman ZachTom. According to Melo’s report, the meeting was held virtually.
There are many things about Tom’s game that make him an ideal candidate for New England. He is touted as one of the best pure pass blockers in this class, and his football IQ is among the best of any offensive lineman. At 6-foot-4 and 304 pounds, he moves noticeably well for his height.
During his college career, he started 48 games in four years, seeing time in multiple positions along the offensive line. This versatility plans to take it to the next level.
Also, Tom comes from a Wake Forest program that the Patriots clearly have their eye on. They took another lineman from the program just two years ago in tackle Justin Herron.
In general, the Patriots value versatility when it comes to offensive linemen in the draft. At the same time, Tom offers more than just generic versatility. The team has an immediate guard need following the departures of Ted Karras and Shaq Mason, and a long-term tackle need with Isaiah Wynn in a contract year. Tom could realistically fulfill both roles during his rookie contract if he meets his projections.
The Patriots aren’t the only team interested in Tom ahead of the draft. Melo says Tom has met virtually with “15 to 20 teams,” including the Bills, Packers, Seahawks, Titans and Browns, and also had private practices with the Dolphins and Saints. He should leave early on day 3.
Here’s a full rundown of every player we know the Patriots faced before the NFL Draft…
Tracking meetings before the Patriots 2022 draft
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