Packers show faith in rookie offensive lineman with latest trade

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The Green Bay Packers traded Cole Van Lanen to Jacksonville, a move that shows the team’s faith in rookie Zach Tom after a strong preseason. 

It’s certainly not a necessarily a major worry, there are warranted concerns about the Green Bay Packers offensive line coming into the 2022 season and with Week 1 rapidly approaching. Stalwart left tackle David Bakhtiari remains on the PUP list, Elgton Jenkins has been banged up too, and the depth in the trenches is a bit of a question as well.

So in that light, it might’ve seemed crazy for the team to trade a 2021 sixth-round pick who the team had stashed on the practice squad last season to develop.

But that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday as Green Bay sent Cole Van Lanen, a sixth-rounder last year out of Wisconsin, to Jacksonville in exchange for a seventh-round pick.

And it’s hard to think the Packers wouldn’t have made that trade if not for the training camp and preseason that rookie fourth-rounder Zach Tom has enjoyed.

Packers trading Cole Van Lanen shows team’s faith in rookie Zach Tom

There were fans of Tom in the draft process but his performance thus far through two preseason games has been impossible for Packers fans to ignore. PFF has recorded 36 pass-blocking snaps in the preseason and has yet to allow a pressure.

Even if he’s not playing against first-team defenses at all times, that’s impressive stuff from the rookie and surely factors into the Packers being comfortable enough to trade Van Lanen as they could use all the quality depth they can get their hands on.

It remains to be seen what role Tom will play in the regular season given the fact that we don’t know about Bakhtiari’s status to this point. Having said that, the rookie has done enough thus far to give fans faith he can slot right if needed and succeed.

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