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Athleticism, production separate Romeo Doubs and Zach Tom from their peers

Packers add more depth at both receiver and offensive line in the fourth round

Nevada WR Romeo Doubs & Wake Forest OL Zach Tom
Nevada WR Romeo Doubs & Wake Forest OL Zach Tom

GREEN BAY – The Packers began the third day of the 2022 NFL Draft the same way they finished on Friday – by adding more depth to both their receiver and offensive line rooms.

With its two fourth-round selections, Green Bay drafted Nevada receiver Romeo Doubs (No. 132 overall) and Wake Forest offensive lineman Zach Tom (No. 140) on Saturday afternoon.

The picks came less than 24 hours after the Packers traded up in the second round to take North Dakota State receiver Christian Watson at No. 34 and invested their third-round pick into UCLA offensive lineman Sean Rhyan at No. 92.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Doubs played in Snoop Dogg's Youth Football league as a youngster. Perhaps serendipitously, Doubs' team wore green-and-gold uniforms with a Packers logo. His mother, Nakima Whitley, also has been a Packers fan since the team's Super Bowl XLV victory in 2010.

"I just think it's really great to be a part of something that she can really root for, along with myself knowing the history of just playing for Green Bay," Doubs said. "I just know it's an opportunity for me to play for the organization, whether it's helping on the field or just helping off the field. I'm just blessed and thankful to be a part of something really special."

It was through the youth league Doubs got to know Jefferson (Ca.) High School football coach Eric Scott, whom Doubs would later follow to Nevada after Scott left to become the Wolfpack's outside receivers coach in 2017.

Doubs enjoyed a prolific four-year run with the Wolfpack, catching 225 passes for 3,322 yards and 26 touchdowns in 45 collegiate games. Doubs also occasionally returned punts, even breaking an 80-yard touchdown on his first collegiate snap.

The 6-foot-2, 201-pound receiver was a two-time All-Mountain West Conference first-team selection after registering back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He also tied for the conference lead in touchdown receptions in each of the past two seasons.

The Packers thought highly enough of Doubs to bring him to Green Bay with one of the team's 30 official pre-draft visits.

"We liked his play speed. We thought he played fast on tape," said co-director of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan. "I think he plays long to the ball. We thought he was very intriguing. … Just his production and then what he shows on tape, we think he's got some upside and ability to grow into a player."

Eight picks later, the Packers used the fourth-round compensatory pick they received for losing All-Pro center Corey Linsley on Tom, a 6-foot-4, 304-pound lineman who started at both center and left tackle for Wake Forest.

What's more, Tom comes with an NFL pedigree as his older brother, Cameron, is a four-year veteran who has played for both the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins.

Tom was with his brother and parents, Vanessa and Michael, at their home in Louisiana when he got the call informing him that he'd been drafted by the Packers.

"I was just sitting there watching with my family and it just feels like a dream," Tom said. "It's probably the biggest moment of my life, so just crazy. I don't have words to describe it. And the thing I most look forward to is just getting to work. I'm just ready to go there, compete and just get to work. That's what this is all for."

After watching Tom start games at both center and left tackle, Sullivan sees the athletic rookie as a "five-tool player" when it comes to versatility.

Those attributes were reflected during Tom's impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he clocked a 4.94 in the 40 with a 33-inch vertical and 9-foot-10 broad jump.

Tom's vertical was the second-best among all offensive linemen invited to his year's NFL Scouting Combine and only a half inch behind his new teammate, Rhyan.

"Movement skills are so important for O-linemen, especially in a zone run game, so being able to move is one of my strengths that I try to play off of," Tom said. "Just trying to get those first two steps in the ground and put defensive linemen in a bad position and make them try to play catch up. I really try to focus on that."

The Packers took some hits at both receiver and offensive line this offseason, with veterans Davante Adams (Las Vegas), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Kansas City), Lucas Patrick (Chicago) and Billy Turner (Denver) all finding new homes during free agency.

General Manager Brian Gutekunst responded by doubling up on both positions on the second and third day. In Rhyan and Tom, the Packers feel like they've added two athletic collegiate linemen who could have the ability to move around inside like Turner and Patrick did in Green Bay for several years.

By taking Watson and Doubs, the Packers have invested the most draft picks into the receiver position during the first four rounds of a draft since Aaron Rodgers' second NFL season in 2006.

"It's no secret we needed a pass catcher or pass catchers," Sullivan said. "Brian does a phenomenal job – as good as anybody I've ever been around – about letting the board come to him, not reaching, not trying to address a need and fit a square peg in a round hole just to get a position filled.

"Having said that, we really liked Christian. He was there, obviously we went up to get him, so we were excited about that, especially what he brings from an athletic, size standpoint."

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