Round 2: Boston College G Chris Lindstrom
6-4, 303 – Senior
Previous Pick: Wisconsin G Michael Deiter
After selecting Boston College defensive end Zach Allen with their first of two second-round picks – thanks to trading down with Jacksonville in the first round – Tampa Bay uses its own second-rounder to draft another Eagles star, guard Chris Lindstrom.
The Bucs have yet to find a guard that can play opposite Ali Marpet ever since Logan Mankins retired following his 2015 Pro Bowl season. Kevin Pamphile wasn’t the answer, and neither was J.R. Sweezy, who was often injured. Caleb Benenoch was moved to right guard last year and struggled mightily, resembling a matador in pass protection. Rookie Alex Cappa, a third-round pick, didn’t play much better and was limited in his snaps because of the challenges he faced moving from left tackle at Humboldt State to right guard in the NFL.
New Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians and offensive line coaches Harold Goodwin and Joe Gilbert can’t afford to wait to see if either Benenoch or Cappa can develop, especially during Jameis Winston’s critical fifth-year option season in 2019. The Bucs need a rock solid guard to beef up the interior pass protection that will allow Winston to throw from the pocket, in addition to effectively block in the running game.
Lindstrom was invited to the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl and was the best guard in Mobile, Ala., demonstrating a great, powerful base in pass protection and real pop and strength in the running game.
“It was worth questioning how Lindstrom would adapt to playing outside of BC’s run-heavy scheme, but after this week, there should be no more questions. Lindstrom easily held his own against any defensive tackles that came at him in pass protection, and in the run game he looked very impressive moving forward and erasing linebackers. Lindstrom looks like an immediate starter for the team that drafts him.”
The first-team All-ACC pick played in 50 games at Boston College, starting the final 47 of his career. Lindstrom played guard as a freshman, sophomore and senior, but spent part of his junior season playing right tackle. Lindstrom was the Eagles’ highest-graded offensive lineman in each of the last two seasons and had the fortune of going up against Allen, who was his roommate at Boston College, in practice every day to help sharpen his skills for the NFL level.
Boston College allowed just 13 sacks during his junior season, which ranked second in the ACC and 13th nationally, while the Eagles’ ground game ranked 25th nationally, averaging 220.4 yards per game. Running back A.J. Dillon rushed for 1,589 yards and 14 touchdowns as a freshman, but injuries limited him to 1,108 yards and 10 touchdowns last year.
Here is some film of Lindstrom (75) squaring off against Miami defensive tackle and NFL Draft prospect Gerald Willis III and helping Dillon rush for 149 yards and a touchdown against the Hurricanes. Lindstrom is adept at pulling and can also make plays at the second level in the run game against linebackers and on screen passes.
Lindstrom is a finisher in the run game, and brings intelligence, maturity and a passion for the game of football to the table. He was a great teammate at Boston College and has a playing style that is similar to that of Marpet’s. Who better to line up opposite of Marpet on Tampa Bay’s offensive line than Lindstrom?