2022 NFL Draft Profile: San Diego State OL Zachary Thomas
Aztec tackle Zachary Thomas looks forward to hearing his name called next weekend.
The elder Thomas has been in uniform for six years and wishes to join his brother in the league.
Zachary Thomas has been selected by the Chicago Bears with the 186th overall pick, in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.
A new bodyguard in the 312.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 30, 2022
Zachary Thomas, older brother to fellow Aztec and NFL prospect Cameron Thomas, played 30 minutes away from their coastal digs in Carlsbad. Thomas had no power five offers and chose San Diego State to improve his game and sign with an aggressive run-focused team.
The 2021 and 2020 first-team all-Mountain West tackle has the physique of a pro lineman. He is almost 24 due to his enrollment in 2016, redshirting his freshman year and opting to use his COVID eligibility for a final senior season.
Measurables (taken from Mockdraftable)
As always – I love this San Diego State run game!
Watching LT Zachary Thomas (brother of DE Cameron) – 3yr starter at LT/RT. ‘Quick off ball, tight hands & sticky block sustaining’ combo will excite some zone scheme teams – heading to @ShrineBowl @AztecFB pic.twitter.com/MkWoKEK6Hh
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 24, 2022
The Carlsbad kid added more bulk for his super senior season and makes use of his speed at his prototypical size of 6-foot-5, 300-lb. Thomas only allowed only three sacks in 310 opportunities at left tackle and six hurries in 2021.
For his size, the tackle impressed scouts at the NFL combine with a 4.97 40-yard dash. Thomas’ agility helped him throughout his career at San Diego State. He was a strong run blocker in the Aztecs’ scheme and was able to keep his feet moving and adapt to opponents off the line.
The tackle has issues with his mechanics in pass protection going up against effective rushers. Scouts at NFL Draft Buzz point out that he “leans forward with his upper body and neglects his lower body.” That awkwardness of that technique would get him into sticky situations against NFL vets. He has the talent for the position but would need to develop more techniques to slow down opponents.
Thomas has the frame for the position and can excel in zone-blocking schemes. With his question marks in pass protection, though, it’ll push his name back as a late-round pick, getting drafted as high as the sixth round.