With the draft just under 24 hours away, news is still tricking in about pre-draft meetings. The Patriots are among the teams with reports coming in under the wire.
According to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, the Patriots held a pre-draft meeting with Wake Forest offensive lineman Zach Tom. Per Melo’s report, the meeting was conducted virtually.
There’s a lot about Tom’s game that makes him a fit for New England. He’s touted as one of the best pure pass blockers in this class, and his football IQ is among the best of all of the offensive linemen. At 6-foot-4, 304 pounds he moves noticeably well for his size.
During his college career he started 48 games in four years seeing time at multiple positions along the offensive line. That versatility projects to carry to the next level.
Oct 9, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons offensive lineman Zach Tom (50) looks on prior to the game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Plus, Tom comes from a Wake Forest program the Patriots clearly have an eye on. They took another lineman from the program just two years ago in tackle Justin Herron.
In general, the Patriots value versatility highly 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 need at guard following the departures of Ted Karras and Shaq Mason, and a long-term need at tackle with Isaiah Wynn in a contract year. Tom could realistically fill both roles during his rookie contract if he hits his projections.
The Patriots aren’t the only team showing interest in Tom leading up to the draft. Melo says Tom has met with “15-20 teams” virtually including the Bills, Packers, Seahawks, Titans, and Browns, and has also had private workouts with the Dolphins and Saints. He’s expected to go early on Day 3.
Here’s a full look at all the players we know the Patriots have met with leading up to the NFL Draft…
2022 Patriots pre-draft meeting tracker
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.