Chris Lindstrom Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Tough as nails
Fires off the ball
Can get movement in the ground game
Able to control defenders when he latches on them
Good hand placement
Plays with good leverage
Can handle bull rushes
Smart; good reaction to stunts and games
Quality length for a guard
Arm length - 34.13 inches
Plug-and-play starting potential
Blocks through the whistle
Not a great athlete
Could have issues with interior speed rushers
Quickness is average
Feet aren't that quick
Could be limited to guard only
Summary: One common trend in NFL drafts of the past decade has been a surprise interior offensive lineman becoming a late first-round pick. A lineman who most project to be a second-day pick ends up going late in the first round for a few reasons. One, there aren't typically 32 players with first-round grades, leaving some second-round graded players to be selected on the opening night. Another reason that pushes an interior blocker up is team need, and three teams see value in getting one of the top prospects at the position late in the first round. Some recent examples of these interior blockers going late in the first round and higher than expected have been Laken Tomlinson, Joshua Garnett, Travis Frederick, Kevin Zeitler and Danny Watkins. This year, Lindstrom is a candidate to be an interior lineman who goes higher than expected.
Lindstrom looks like a plug-and-play starter for the NFL at right guard. I was watching Senior Bowl practice with a couple of directors of player personnel who summed up Lindstrom well when they said, "This Boston College guard is tough as hell."
Toughness is the first thing that jumps out about Lindstrom, as he is a strong blocker who is tough as nails at the point of attack. He blocks hard through the whistle and mixes it up with defenders on every play. Even if he gets rocked back initially, Lindstrom shows recoverability to gather his feet and balance to reengage the defenders. Against bull rushes, Lindstrom generally displays a strong anchor as he has developed his strength well and has quality length for a guard. He also has good technique, playing with proper leverage. Lindstrom uses his strong hands, hand placement, and upper body strength to sustain his blocks and neutralize defenders from making plays. It is rare to see a defender who Lindstrom is blocking get in on a tackle.
In the ground game, Lindstrom can get some movement at the point of attack. He does not have the size of a dominating road-grader, but he is strong and fires off the ball. He torques and manipulates defenders to create some openings for his back. He also can get to blocks on linebackers and does a nice job of riding them out of a play when he gets a hold of them.
As a pass blocker, Lindstrom is polished and very reliable to keep his defender from getting heat on the quarterback. Lindstrom also is smart and adjusts well to games or stunts. He does a quality job of riding defenders around the pocket when they try to beat him with speed. In the NFL, interior speed rushers could give Lindstrom some issues because he does not have special athleticism and does not stand out for having quick feet.
Lindstrom looks like a plug-and-play starter at right guard as a pro. He was coached well at Boston college and has a lot of experience. He most likely will be a second-day pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and could easily go early in Round 2. Lindstrom could be a solid starter before long and should have a quality NFL career.
Player Comparison: Joel Bitonio. Bitonio and Lindstrom are nearly identical in size with similar skill sets. Bitonio (6-4, 305) is a bit more athletic than Lindstrom, but both are tough blockers who are well balanced in the ground game and pass protection. Lindstrom is probably stronger than Bitonio was entering the NFL. Bitonio was a high a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and Lindstrom could go in the same range this year.
NFL Matches: Arizona, Buffalo, Denver, Tennessee, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Philadelphia, Minnesota
There could be a lot of teams in the market for Lindstrom in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Cardinals need to improve their offensive line for Josh Rosen, so they could be interested in Lindstrom as a potential plug-and-play blocker. The Bills also could use more protection for their young quarterback as well, so Lindstrom could be a fit in Buffalo.
The Broncos may not re-sign Matt Paradis, but even if they bring the veteran center back, they could use help at guard.
In the NFC South, the Buccaneers have a big hole at right guard. Lindstrom could start out there and potentially lock down the position for the next decade. In the same division, the Falcons have to improve their guard play, so Lindstrom could be a fit for them. Up in Carolina, the Panthers lost Andrew Norwell to free agency last year and they could use competition at left guard. Thus, Lindstrom could be a fit for Carolina in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Titans badly need some upgrades at guard and center. Lindstrom could be a plug-and-play upgrade for Tennessee.
The Eagles had protection issues on the inside of their line last year, so Lindstrom could be of interest. If they really love him, they could consider Lindstrom late in the first round, but he seems like a better fit on Day 2. Additionally, Philadelphia has two second-round picks to consider him at.
Minnesota must get more offensive line talent to protect Kirk Cousins, so Lindstrom could be of interest to the Vikings.