NAME: Chris Lindstrom
SCHOOL: Boston College
POSITION: Offensive Guard
JERSEY: No. 75
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 305 lbs
Pass Protection – Should be noted BC is a run-heavy offense with a lot of play-action, rollouts and non-traditional pass plays, which limits the evaluation of Lindstrom as a true pass protector on an island by himself. When he was in those situations, showed an excellent anchor against power and the quick feet to mirror moves to his edge by more athletic interior defensive linemen.
POA Run Blocking – Fires off the ball low and looks to create movement. Leg drive and pad level are excellent, consistently displaces opponents on vertical blocking schemes and doesn’t fall off contact often. Will look to finish, but doesn’t get sloppy with his technique, keeping his eyes up and hips engaged to drive through opponents. As a zone blocker, somewhat limited in reaching more explosive techniques, but does a great job to use his hands savvily to inhibit the lateral progress of his assignment.
Functional Strength – Excellent functional strength. Never manhandled 1v1 and consistently able to win first contact and maintain his blocks with grip strength. Frame appears to be equally powerful from upper to lower half. Can gain/maintain control of defenders even when off-balance for a second.
Pass Pro Footwork – Sets up quickly out of his stance, building his house with a strong base. Needs to make sure he keeps his feet active when working in more space as a pass protector. Boston College tight splits and quick passing game limited concerns in this way. Pass sets look clean, but doesn’t get the same number of traditional sets as other offensive linemen due to BC run-heavy scheme and simple arial attack.
Strike Timing/Placement -Does a good job fitting his hands inside in pass protection, showing good strikes that stymie upfield progress. Even when he is caught a bit high by a bull rush, can typically fend off his opponent and not give much ground. Does a terrific job staying on contact when a defender gets to his edge, running them up the arc and past the quarterback. When his hands miss in the run game, does a good job to re-set quickly and find leverage points.
Leverage – Fires off low in the run game, but with eyes up. Creates movement with leveraged hands and leg drive. Does a solid job using his leverage to create torque and seal defenders out of gaps. Can arrive at the second level a bit high.
Space Blocking – Moves well to all levels of the field. Good at selling a pass set, delaying a beat and then releasing at full speed to the second level. Can you have nice burst as an offensive lineman? Well, Lindstrom does. Could stand to be more under control and come to balance a little better at the second level. Better angles would help too. Works hard to adjust to his opponent’s movement and get at least a piece of him.
Competitive Toughness – Wouldn’t describe him as a mauler, but absolutely brings it physically and will keep his legs running through contact to drive opponents off the ball. Full intensity every snap and does look to finish a decent amount of the time. Will look for work when uncovered in pass protection.
Mental Processing – Very good at keeping his eyes active and picking up late blitzers. Didn’t see him challenged a ton with twists, but when he was, handled it mostly flawlessly. Smart player who processes quickly and can make adjustments on the fly.
Athleticism/Size – Maybe a little short-armed, but nothing to be concerned about size-wise. Pro-ready build that doesn’t appear to need much development. Not an elite athlete for the position, but a good one for sure.
BEST TRAIT – Hand Usage/Strikes
WORST TRAIT – Zone Blocking
RED FLAGS – None
I’ve watched a good bit of Lindstrom tape over the past two years, and there really isn’t much to dislike. He has no major flaws in his game, is extremely consistent in his approach and has the experience needed to make an easy transition to the NFL. Few guards offer his combination of size, movement skills and technique, as Lindstrom rarely loses any 1v1 battles and consistently creates movement in the run game. He may not be an elite prospect, but Lindstrom looks like an immediate starter with enough scheme versatility to work for almost any NFL team.
Functional Athleticism – Quick as hell out the blocks. Really sudden in his efforts to climb the ladder. Short area mobility is another plus trait and shows good range in his protection role to cover ground. Can improve his results by gearing down sooner on the second level and not overrunning blocks.
Football IQ – Quick transitions and has a good feel for when they’re trying to snooker him at the LOS and draw him out of position. Heady to feel where late arriving pressure is coming from and like his effort to keep eyes up and active in protection.
Anchor Ability – Has dropped a late anchor on a few occasions but issues stem from getting caught without his hands, not functional strength. Has ample lower body power and can absorb rushes with his legs effectively. Does well to bend through the knees and sink the hips.
Hand Technique – Active hands, does well to not marry himself to the idea of first available strike. Will time his efforts well to land a blow and then work to reset himself inside on the numbers. Hands, like feet, are more quick than anything, offering recovery ability on a poor initial challenge.
Balance – Fast to flow and fluid, a natural athlete in space who does well to stay within his means when engaged with defenders as well. Little issue peeling pack and picking off a late gap shooter. Can get a little over-eager on 2nd level, gear down and trust your angle!
Pass Sets –Implemented in a lot of slide protections and also tasked with pulls in pass pro to influence eyes of LBs in play action passing. Has notched a few kills by playing as late to arrive help when left unoccupied. Feet are light and gets into short sets well out of his stance.
Flexibility –Little issue with keeping himself low and balanced, even on pulls. Pad level stays down at the LOS when firing forward and has success at first contact to roll coiled hips through contact and transfer power through the lower half. Clean hinges to smoothly pull in lead blocks.
Power at POA – Pushes people around but in a unique sense. Plays more with a sense of urgency and wins with quickness rather than swallowing up defenders at the point of attack with raw power. That said? Generates ample push and movement.
Length/Extension – Has a smaller strike zone with his hands on account of sub-par length. Issues with length are mitigated thanks to short area quickness and lateral agility, assuring he can stay framed properly and be in front of his man at the LOS.
Competitive Toughness – Has no shortage of functional strength and plays with the needed toughness to win gaps effectively. Has success banging against head up defenders at the snap, so won’t be a liability against certain fronts or personnel groups.
BEST TRAIT – Functional Athleticism
WORST TRAIT – Length/Extension
BEST FILM – Miami (2018)
WORST FILM – Clemson (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Chris Lindstrom translates as a scheme friendly iOL who can step into a starting role immediately thanks to his polish and experience at the college level. Lindstrom is a quick-footed blocker who excels at the snap, he would be best served in a system that allows their OL to win positioning (gap/power concepts) as compared to asking him to steer defenders at the LOS. Lindstrom has experience at OT and in emergencies he has functional ATH to play in spurts.
Entering his fourth year as a starter for the Eagles, Lindstrom has played both guard and tackle but he projects inside in the NFL. A second-team All-ACC selection in 2017, Lindstrom is a big reason why BC has featured such prolific rushing attacks in recent years.
Lindstrom is an aggressive run blocker that does well to fit his hands, leverage his hips and accelerate his feet to drive opponents out of gaps and create space. Once his hands are fit, Lindstrom showcases impressive grip strength to sustain his blocks and he is an excellent finisher. Lindstrom has outstanding play strength throughout his frame and has the upside of a high impact run blocker in the NFL.
In space, Lindstrom does well to lead block into gaps and is mostly successful connecting with moving targets at the second level/perimeter. Lindstrom finds work when uncovered and executes aggressively.
As a pass blocker, Lindstrom has a stout anchor and works into his sets with good balance, posture and body control. With that said, there are times when his feet lag behind when he’s hip to hip with opponents and needs to be more committed to staying square. Most of those issues on film show up when he’s playing outside at tackle.
Building on his strengths should lead to a productive senior season and opportunity to start early in his NFL career.