Packers Breakout Star Named Most Underpaid Player

Zach Tom

Getty Zach Tom was named the most underpaid player on the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers have hit some home runs in the NFL draft, and now they’re getting a bargain thanks to Zach Tom and his rookie contract.

Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon combed through NFL rosters to pick the most underpaid on each team. For the Packers, Gagnon highlighted that Tom is one of the best bargains in the NFL among starting offensive linemen.

“Josh Myers and Rasheed Walker also offer Green Bay strong discounts along the offensive line, but the 25-year-old Tom was simply awesome during a breakout 2023 season,” Gagnon wrote. “His rookie contract pays just $1.04 million per year on average.”

The 2023 Packers team featured a ton of breakout stars on bargain contracts. However, it won’t be long before general manager Brian Gutekunst has to start giving out some serious money in extensions.

Zach Tom Was a Hidden Draft Gem

Tom wasn’t viewed as a top-tier prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, he ended up being one of the most reliable offensive linemen in the class, at least through two seasons.

During his time at Wake Forest, Tom had one of the more intriguing positional switches. He started as a redshirt sophomore at center before kicking out to left tackle the following year. He thrived in both spots, eventually earning first-team All-ACC honors in 2021.

That positional versatility is something that the Packers consistently look for, along with athletic ability. Tom checked those boxes as well, despite being undersized. His Relative Athletic Score (RAS) if 9.59 was only hindered by his size, coming in at 6’4″ and 302 pounds.

The Packers ended up taking Tom with their fourth-round pick. He saw limited action as a rookie, but became a full-time starter at right tackle in 2023. According to Pro Football Focus, Tom allowed just two sacks in 700 pass-blocking snaps.

Despite his smaller frame, Tom has locked down the right tackle spot in Green Bay. His versatility and athleticism will allow him to play anywhere going forward, but the Packers may be content with keeping him where he is.

Other Packers Draft Gems

The last two draft classes for Gutekunst and the Packers have been filled with home-run picks on Day 3.

Romeo Doubs was also a fourth-round by in 2022. He’s become a consistent weapon over two seasons, catching over 100 passes for 1,099 yards and 11 touchdowns. Dontayvion Wicks also turned was Green Bay’s Day 3 wide receiver steal this past season, turning into a consistent threat to get open as the season went on.

Rasheed Walker was a seventh-round pick in 2022. Although he’s taken some lumps, he eventually settled into the starting left tackle position. Walker and Tom were both Day 3 picks, but have turned into legitimate starters on the Packers offensive line.

The Packers have also found a few intriguing defensive options late in the draft. Kingsley Enagbare was a fifth-round pick in 2022, and has developed into a solid rotational pass rusher with five sacks and a forced fumble. Unfortunately, he’ll likely miss most of the 2024 season with a torn ACL.

Karl Brooks and Carrington Valentine both emerged as defensive playmakers despite being late-round rookies this past season. Meanwhile, Anthony Johnson Jr. could wind up playing a much larger role at safety in 2024.

Gutekunst has consistently drafted key contributors for the Packers. He’ll need to keep surrounding Jordan Love with talent in this year’s draft if he wants the team to compete for a Super Bowl in 2024.

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