INDIANAPOLIS – The spectacle that is college football has largely escaped the New England area, but Boston College has had as much success sending offensive linemen to the NFL as just about anybody.
This year appears to be no different as the Eagles feature a solid prospect in Chris Lindstrom. The 6-4, 303-pound Lindstrom has experience at both tackle and guard but has also been working on snapping the ball since his senior season ended, and he believes that versatility will help him in the draft process.
"I feel like my experience at tackle helped me learn to play in space, and that in turn helped me become a better guard," said Lindstrom, who is projected as a possible second-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com. "I want to be as versatile as I can be. I've been working on my snapping for the past two or three months and I'm just trying to get as many reps as I can."
Lindstrom is hoping to continue the Eagles tradition of sending successful offensive linemen to the NFL.
"Boston College is O-Line U and we take great pride in that," he said. "There is a standard that those guys before us put forth and we are trying really hard to uphold that after seeing all the success those guys had both in college and in the NFL."
Lindstrom comes from a football family, growing up in Dudley, Mass., and playing football for his father, Chris, at Shepherd Hill High School. The elder Lindstrom was an offensive lineman at Boston University and is in the school's hall of fame. His uncle, Eric, was a defensive end at Boston College from 1984-88, and his younger brother, Alec, saw action at center as a true freshman for the Eagles last season.
"I was fortunate to have such a great role model as my coach," Lindstrom said. "He coached my hard off the field and loved me off it. Playing with my brother last year was a great experience. It timed up right so we were able to play together. He was the center, which means he was the boss of the offensive line, and that was weird for me having to listen to my little brother."
After arriving on campus in 2015 at just 235 pounds, Lindstrom has to rely on technique in order to complete early in his career. He gradually packed on weight and strength working with the team's training staff, and eventually topped the 300-pound mark.
He believes the limited size initially helped him improve as a player later in his career.
"Technique was always a big part of our program and my game," Lindstrom said. "As I grew I was able to marry my technique with my size and that combination helped me greatly."
After taking tackle Isaiah Wynn in the first round last spring, the Patriots don't figure to be in the market for another offensive line early in the draft. Trent Brown is a free agent, but even if the mammoth left tackle departs, Wynn will be returning from his Achilles injury and could slide into that spot. The rest of the front is under contract, with the three interior guys all in the prime of their careers.
But that didn't stop Lindstrom from believing the Patriots might be in his future. He grew up a Patriots fan, and although he admitted he hadn't been able to watch them much over the last four years, he was quite impressed by the performance in the playoffs.
"I tend to watch the offensive line whenever I watch any games," Lindstrom said. "I admire the way those guys play. The demeanor they played with, the toughness, their ability to move people. The Patriots have a really good unit."