Lindstrom Draws Attention of Patriots, Smith(s) Impress at BC Pro Day

Chris Lindstrom didn’t participate in the 40-yard dash, bench press, or broad jump, but his NFL Draft stock continued to soar after Boston College football’s Pro Day on Wednesday afternoon, as the offensive lineman spent the day under the watchful eye of New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

Lindstrom, a four-year starter for the Eagles, has seen his projected draft position rise with each passing performance in front of scouts. He had a strong Senior Bowl and followed that up with a prolific NFL Combine, running the second-fastest 40-yard dash time of any lineman and impressing in drills as well. Then, with dozens of coaches and scouts in attendance at the Eagles’ showcase to watch 16 players, Lindstrom was singled out by Scarnecchia, who spent much of the day working with the guard.

“We went up and did an interview and it was really cool to finally get to meet him, the great coach that he is,” Lindstrom told The Boston Globe after. “He told me to just keep working. There is still another month and a half until the draft, so just to keep working and keep trying to get better at my position.”

Lindstrom wasn’t the only player to have a strong Pro Day, though. Wide receiver Jeff Smith wowed scouts with a 4.34 40-yard dash—albeit hand timed, which has a margin of error—which would’ve been the seventh-fastest time at the 2019 NFL Combine. Defensive tackle Ray Smith displayed athleticism with a sub-5.0 40, 27 reps of 225 pounds, and a 35-inch vertical that was among the top of those tested. Both drew praise from NFL scouts and reporters alike.

Other consensus prospects in Zach Allen and Will Harris opted to stand by their combine numbers, like Lindstrom did, to no surprise. Harris had a phenomenal combine, registering a blazing fast 4.41 40-yard dash and additionally posting top-five finishes in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. Allen had less of a strong combine in relation to a loaded defensive line group, but he worked out with Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Brendan Daly and several teammates during the Pro Day.

“I thought it went really well,” Allen said. “I just wanted to come out here, luckily all the track stuff is done so we’re back to playing football, so got to just do kind of what I signed up for, and it went really well which is fun.

“I just wanted to show that I could do it all, whether a team needs me to be an edge guy, inside, bend, explosive. My big thing is that I’m pretty versatile, I just wanted to kind of prove that I could keep on doing it.”

Not everybody had the performance they were looking for, though. Hamp Cheevers, who measures in at 5-foot-9, 169 pounds, was aiming to rebound from a slow 4.52 40-yard time at the NFL Combine. The junior, who opted to enter the draft instead of returning for his senior year, posted a slightly better 4.49 mark in the Fish Field House—but still not up to par with the cornerback prospects ahead of him. Teammate Lukas Denis had a good combine outside of the 40-yard dash—he impressed in position drills and with his ball skills—but speed remains a concern, as he posted a 4.68 40-yard dash, four-tenths of a second slower than what he recorded in Indianapolis.

Michael Walker, who didn’t receive an invite to the combine, showed that he has some potential to make a splash as a likely undrafted free agent signing. While his 40-yard time (4.46) was not as good as it likely needs to be, he did display some strong athleticism by racking up 21 bench press reps, tying Jeff Smith for the highest vertical (36.5), and finishing tied for third in the three-cone drill (6.96). His time in the three-cone drill would’ve finished sixth among wide receivers at the NFL combine, while his 60-yard shuttle time (11.26) would’ve led the position unit.

Ultimately, several future pros were on display for BC, which has continued to turn low-end recruits on the star scale into talented draft prospects. While it’s likely Lindstrom and Allen will hear their names much earlier than several of the other players on display, there were still plenty of future NFL roster pieces practicing in front of the scouts on Wednesday. The depth is impressive, especially given that the Eagles haven’t cracked a seven-win season since 2009.

“This reminds me of the days back in Florida,” head coach Steve Addazio said. “We’d have a large number of [players], general managers, position coaches, stuff like that. Obviously it’s much different [at BC]. There are seven guys that went to the combine and anywhere from six to eight draftable guys. There’s a lot of talent on the field, and that’s going to attract guys like Coach Scarnecchia. They’re here for a reason.”

Featured Image and Images by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor

March 21, 2019