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Top 10 interior offensive linemen in the 2019 NFL Draft

ANALYST
Modified 25 Apr 2019
Top 5 / Top 10
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#2 Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

Lindstrom started the final nine games as a true freshman at right tackle
Lindstrom started the final nine games as a true freshman at right tackle

Coming from the BC bloodline, Lindstrom walked in the footsteps of his father, who is enshrined in the school’s Hall of Fame as a lineman.

His uncle played for the Golden Eagles as well as his brother, who is a redshirt sophomore there right now. Lindstrom started the final nine games as a true freshman at right tackle. He split time between right guard and tackle as a sophomore, earning second-team All-ACC honors, before sticking on the inside last season and being named first-team All-Conference.

When you watch tape on this 6’4”, 310-pound guy what immediately jumps off the screen is the pad-level he initiates contact with and how he stands up the defender in front of him.

Lindstrom has the upper body strength and hand grip to torque pads and turn bodies to open up running lanes, plus he brings the type of feisty attitude and leg drive you want to see from your linemen.

He works very well off combo-blocks as that angular blocker, by turning the defender and giving his teammate a chance to get his hips around, while having his own eyes set on that linebacker he is responsible for ultimately.

When he is one-on-one with a backer, Lindstrom shows a lot of urgency to get to the second level. The people-mover also does a nice job freeing up his center to pull around by driving nose tackles off the spot and turning them upfield by pinning that near armpit, to keep him as far from the ball-carrier as possible.

Boston College used the big man on skip-pulls, where he is like a brick-wall to run into for the opposing linebacker. In the zone run game he tags onto the next blockers to not allow any immediate penetration and create a good flow by continuing to work down the line.

This kid really made an impression on me during Senior Bowl week when I saw him isolated instead of being part of a cohesive offensive line group.

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BC ran a boatload of play-action, where Lindstrom could step up into the chest of his man and get control off the snap, but in Mobile I really liked what I saw from him in pass rush one-on-ones.

He had an impressive pancake in the team drills on day one and was one of the few to stand up against a guy like TCU’s L.J. Collier. Lindstrom displays a super-strong base and steady hands in protection.

He has the ability to re-anchor and continue to grab turf with his feet against bull-rushers, while having quick enough feet to mirror athletes. He also shows excellent awareness for twists and gets a strong shove on the primary crosser on to make the job easier for the tackle or center next to him and then he flips his hips to take over that guy’s assignment.

When he doesn’t have a direct matchup, he is looking to deliver some punishment and puts quite a few rushers on the ground. On the backside of running back screen, Lindstrom is looking for trailing defensive linemen before shifting his eyes back downfield,

While being an excellent athlete for the guard position overall, Lindstrom doesn’t quite have the foot quickness to get around those penetrating 3-techs. I see him extend outside his frame and overshoot some targets in space, forcing him to lose balance.

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With those tight splits and limited amount of deep drops in the passing game, Lindstrom wasn’t as challenged in protection, where defenders could just pin their ears back and get after the quarterback. Most of his projection in a true dropback system comes from what we saw down in Mobile.

Lindstrom really got into it with Christian Wilkins in that Clemson game last year and he did not back down an each against a potential top-15 pick. He also made Miami’s Gerald Willis give up on several plays when facing him during the season.

With the work he did in pass pro at the Senior Bowl to go with the way he opened up holes to run through, Lindstrom has me believing he can protect in a more pass-heavy offense.

He might not fit every scheme and will be more valuable on an offense that is built around pushing people around with their rushing attack, but the BC guard is definitely worth an early day two pick.

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Published 20 Mar 2019, 13:01 IST
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