The Bears addressed their offensive line in the sixth round of the draft Saturday by selecting San Diego State tackle/guard Zachary Thomas at No. 186.
The versatile 6-5, 308-pounder started games at right tackle, left tackle and right guard during six seasons with the Aztecs. He redshirted as a true freshman in 2016 and took advantage of an additional year of eligibility due to COVID-19 in 2021.
Thomas became San Diego State's starting right tackle in 2019, opening the final nine games, and remained there in 2020, earning second-team all-Mountain West honors. Last season he moved to left tackle, opening 12 contests and being named first-team all-conference.
Thomas was teammates at San Diego State with his younger brother, Cameron, a defensive end who was drafted Friday by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round.
"I've been sitting on the couch next to him the past two days," Zachary told Chicago reporters during a video call. "It's been amazing."
Thomas no doubt would describe the pre-draft visit he took to Halas Hall in a similar manner.
"The pre-draft with the Bears was amazing," he said. "I got taken out to a nice dinner. I got to see the facility. The facility is like brand new. I love being in that facility. I can't wait to get to work in there."
During his visit, Thomas familiarized himself with the NFL founding franchise's rich history.
"I know that they have the most Hall of Famers," he said. "I know they need a second [Super Bowl] trophy for that trophy case they got going on. I can't wait to get to work with that."
The Bears are impressed with Thomas' position versatility and toughness, traits that he demonstrated while playing in San Diego State's run-oriented offense.
"They're one of the few [college teams] out West that they'll just run power, and I think it shows a lot about his temperament," Williams said. "His physicality does stand out on tape."
“I hang my hat on just being a player that plays through the whistle on every play. I love putting guys on their backs, and I think I’m going to fit in this system really well.” Bears fifth-round pick Zachary Thomas
Williams is confident that Thomas can play either tackle or guard in the NFL.
"He does have the football intelligence, he does have the height, weight, length, arm length that you need to play tackle," Williams said, "but also can play guard because he's done it before and he has the body type. When you see his body type, he's a lot thicker in the lower body."
Regardless of where he lines up, Thomas intends to bring a nasty disposition with him to Chicago—a trait that first-year general manager Ryan Poles is seeking in Bears offensive linemen.
"I hang my hat on just being a player that plays through the whistle on every play," Thomas said. "I love putting guys on their backs, and I think I'm going to fit in this system really well. [I'm] real excited to get to Chicago."
With the 186th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Bears select San Diego State offensive lineman Zachary Thomas.