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Zach Tom impresses at NFL Combine

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Show me the money

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 23 Wake Forest at Army

Zach Tom might have made some money, y’all.

It was a bit surprising that Tom was the only Wake Forest name to be selected to the combine, it seems from all accounts the former Wake star was more than impressive last night working through drills.

While listed as a tackle, most projections and people I talk to see Tom’s future on the interior of the offensive line. If you recall, Tom made All-ACC in 2019 when he played one year as Center as Justin Herron manned the left tackle spot.

In case you’re wondering, Tom ran a 4.47 short shuttle.

His recorded 9’10” broad jump was good enough to tie him for fourth best, for OL, since 2006. Put that together with a 4.94 40-yard dash at 304 pounds, a 7.32 3-Cone drill, and a 33” vertical, and you have someone that will go from fringe late draft pick to possibly someone that a team is willing to take a show on somewhere around the 5th round.

RAS, or Relative Athletic Score, is something a fair amount of people use to get a quick and easy comparison of how a prospect is doing based on historical draft dating back to 1987 based on their position group.

The highest you can score is a 10.0. As you can see Tom scored a NINE POINT NINE SEVEN. His height is above average, while his weight isn’t what you normally see from an interior player, literally every other measure is elite.

The comparisons spit out by the algorithm are:

  • Cleveland left guard Joel Bitonio who has been a starter since his first year in 2014, recently was named the 11th best player in the NFL by PFF, First-team All-Pro in 2021, three-time Second-team All-Pro from 2018-2020, and four-time pro bowler.
  • Former NFL guard Evan Mathis (shout out to my eagles) who was a two-time pro bowler, a First-team All-Pro in 2013, and part of PFF’s 2010s All-Decade Team before injuries ended his career a bit earlier than expected in 2017.
  • Former Patriots and now Chiefs starting Left Guard Joe Thuney, two-time Super Bowl champion as a starter, PFWA All-Rookie team, Second-team All-Pro, 63rd on PFF’s list of best NFL players, and just signed a FAT 5 year $80 million contract.

This is what the chart looks like when you compare Tom historically to centers in the draft. There wasn’t much room to get better and yet... he did. The two comparisons here are:

  • Kansas City Chief’s starting center Creed Humphrey, who helped lead the Chiefs to the AFC championship game, was the highest-graded offensive rookie according to PFF, and is arguably a top-five center in the league already even after one year.
  • San Francisco backup center Jake Brendel, who just cannot stay healthy.

All in all, if 4 out of the 5 best comparisons are four of the best at their respective positions, it’s very easy to see how Tom is going to shoot up the mock draft ladder once the combine is over and make some good money.

Go Deacs baby.