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Top 10 Patriots Draft Fits #9: Boston College OL Chris Lindstrom

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Lindstrom offers the Patriots an immediate plug and play level starter on the OL.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more underrated needs with the team is picking up a potential future starter at the guard position. The team is set at center and right guard between David Andrews and Shaq Mason for the foreseeable future with the former as an obvious extension candidate after the season. The Patriots don’t need a starter with Joe Thuney being reliable at the position for 3 years and an upwards trajectory since the 2nd half of Super Bowl LI. Given that the team has already elected to pay Mason, it may make sense for the team to let Thuney walk after the season or trade him ahead of time for 2020 draft capital.

Combine Data

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 308
Bench Press: 25
5-10-5 Shuttle: 4.54
3-Cone: 7.61
Vertical: 30.5”
Standing Jump: 9’9”

Strengths

  • Immediate Plug and Play Player
  • Strong Athletic Traits, even for an OT
  • Football Bloodlines, especially at OL position
  • Potential versatility to convert to center as well

Weaknesses

  • Play strength will need to be improved, especially in pass pro
  • Will likely have to be moved inside to guard

Reasons Why the Patriots Would Draft Him

Ironically enough, Lindstrom reminds me a lot of the man I’d expect him to replace in Joe Thuney. Thuney was a very athletic OL that needed to improve his functional strength against big and athletic DTs when he first came to New England. The Patriots showed some interest in Lindstrom, as they sent OL coach Dante Scarnecchia to the Boston College Pro Day to give him a workout at both guard and center. While his path to the starting five is blocked barring a surprise trade, the potential of 3 years of starting guard play is worth a Day 2 pick at the least.

Reasons Why the Patriots Would Not Draft Him

Lindstrom will be one of the top interior linemen to come off the board in this year’s draft, and perhaps a 1st or 2nd round pick is too much value to give up for a guy who’s got no path to the starting lineup. Another team might be willing to spend a higher pick on a plug and play starter, especially a team that’s OL needy. Last year the Patriots saw the Lions take Frank Ragnow three picks before they ended up taking Isaiah Wynn, so I could see a similar situation playing out with Miami, Tennessee, and Detroit looking for similar players.

Who He Needs to Beat Out: Cole Croston, James Ferentz, Ted Karras

Rookie Year Projection

Lindstrom does have some experience playing tackle in college, so he could be a super sub OL as a rookie while the team grooms him for the guard position. On special teams, he would see some snaps on kick return as part of the two-man wedge and on the field goal unit as a blocker. Some places where the Patriots can get him some snaps are at the goal-line or short-yardage situations as a 6th OL, which used to be LaAdrian Waddle’s role in 2018.

Longer Term Projection

Should the Patriots end up drafting Lindstrom, that likely means Joe Thuney is walking after the 2019 season. In 2020, Lindstrom takes over at left guard and remains the starter there through 2022.

Grade: 5/5 Starter

Round: 2nd

2nd Round might be too high for the Patriots to take a guard, especially when the team isn’t necessarily looking for a plug and play starter, but the last two guards they selected in the top 4 rounds (Mason, Thuney) started right away as well.