From now until the 2022 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Boston College center, Alec Lindstrom.
#72 Alec Lindstrom, center, Boston College (G-Sr.) — 6,033, 296 lbs.
|Player||HT/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Alec Linstrom||6033/296||32 5/8||76|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Shuttle Shorts||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Started three-straight years on a Boston College offensive line that likely has three draft picks this year
— Per PFF, Lindstrom has the hhighest pass-blocking grades by power-five centers since 2020 (Grade: 87.8)
— Not going to physically overpower too many guys, but will always play to the whistle and look to finish blocks
— Does his best work when working with his guard on combo blocks
— Always looks for work in pass game
— Good job staying square in pass pro and getting the first punch
— While he’s not uber-athletic, he shines in the screen game, getting out in front and finishing
— Undersized for the NFL
— Often gets beat to the spot by quickness
— Plays too high, allowing guys to get under his pads and drive him back
— Finds himself on the ground a ton because of playing high, guys are able to drive through him
— Overpowered by true one gappers
— Has an average anchor, could stand to gain some strength in his lower half
— Lacks versatility, only playing center
— Played in 36 games at Boston College
— One of five players to be a two-time First-Team All-ACC selection in Boston College history
— Father, Chris Sr., was a Hall of Fame Lineman at Boston College, spent three years in the NFL
— Brother, Chris, was a four-year starter at Boston College and drafted by Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2019 Draft
— A food reviewer on Instagram (@ricsreviews)
— Hosts his own podcast titled ‘Listen Up My Dudes’
— Undergraduate degree in Management and Leadership
Alec Lindstrom followed up his family tradition of starting early and often on the Boston College offensive line. Both his father and brother were stalwarts on Eagles’ offensive lines in the past. Alec did a great job carrying the family name starting three years and putting together two First-Team All-ACC seasons, only the fifth Boston College player to do so. Let’s take a look at Lindstrom’s film to see what he was doing on the gridiron to warrant those braces.
Lindstrom is very solid in pass protection, earning him the top PFF grade (87.8) for power-five centers since 2020. That’s over Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum, who came in second with a grade of 85.4.
Boston College didn’t play a ton of schools that consistently lined up defenders over the top of the center, so most of Lindstrom’s pass rush reps were either linebackers blitzing or helping out his fellow guards with their assignments. Taking a look below, Lindstrom originally looks to help his right guard, then has the vision to see the blitzing linebacker. He is able to withstand the initial contact and drive the defender into the ground. Great rep and great finish.
Taking a look at another rep, the defensive lineman has a late gap change over the top of Lindstrom. He doesn’t panic with his shotgun snap, is able to get out of his stance quickly and eat up this defender. With a little help from his guard, Zion Johnson, he’s able to finish with another pancake.
Where Lindstrom does struggle in the passing game is his anchor. While he’s good at “riding the bull” and withstanding his blocks, due to his high pad level, he’s often pushed back into the lap of his quarterback.
Notice, this is him against a linebacker, not a large defensive lineman. Hence why this proves as an issue all over Lindstrom’s tape. He needs to play lower and could stand to add some strength to his lower half to better withstand these bull rushes.
Here’s an example of this in the run game against a true one-gap defensive lineman. The Wake Forest defender is easily able to get under Lindstrom’s pads and drive him into the backfield, simultaneously causing the running back to cut back and draw a holding penalty.
The other big issue in Lindstrom’s pass protection is stopping his feet and getting overextended. Here, you can see the trouble that can happen when this occurs. Lindstrom stops his feet while not keeping his nose over his toes and the defender is easily able to spin off him. If it weren’t for the defender tripping over the guard’s leg, this is a big hit on your quarterback.
Lindstrom definitely falls under the category of having to tell “woah” rather than “sic’ em.” He’s really gritty and gives his all on each and every rep. Watch him finish this block 10 yards past the scrimmage after the ball is out. You can’t teach that level of effort.
Some of Lindstrom’s best film at Boston College came from combo blocks. It did help that his left guard, Zion Johnson, who he was working beside, is expected to be an early draft pick in April, but Lindstrom certainly did his part.
Watch Lindstrom and Johnson clear their side of the line and open up a huge hole for the running back. There are probably 100 or so of these clips on their films to choose from. Their chemistry and timing were spot on in respect to this part of their game.
Getting back to some of Lindstrom’s negatives, his tendency to play high plagues him in the run game as well. Watch how the linebacker is easily able to run through him with power and get in on the tackle. It’s a lesson Lindstrom will have to learn before getting into the NFL or he’ll find himself in this situation a ton.
The other thing that stood out, particularly against a fast Florida State defense, was Lindstrom’s inability to beat the backers to the spot in the run game. Lindstrom has good functional athleticism, but he does struggle with quick-twitch backers as you can see below.
Lindstrom certainly has some effective traits that could make him last in the NFL, but he has a ton of room to grow before someone should trust him to start at the center position in the NFL. He is the picture in the dictionary for a guy that overachieved in his college career. He doesn’t have the elite traits or size but still was able to put together some good tape at a power five school. Looking at how he handles base blocks, he’ll likely follow best on a zone-heavy run scheme. With all this being said, it’s still possible that Lindstrom is the second-best true center in this class, which shows you how weak this interior linemen class is. Because of the lack of depth in the class, you may have a team pull the trigger on him earlier than one would expect.
Projection: Day 3
Deposit Draft Grade: 6.6 – Backup/Special-Teamer (5th Round)
Games Watched: vs. Wake Forest (2021), vs. Florida State (2021), vs. Pitt (2020), vs. Missouri (2021)