While they may not produce championship-winning teams, Boston College does have a fine reputation for producing NFL caliber offensive linemen. Can center Alec Lindstrom continue the legacy of Boston College offensive linemen in the 2021 NFL Draft?
When you think of “o-line U” the usual suspects spring to mind. Alabama has consistently produced first-round NFL talent. The Wisconsin Badgers are a team synonymous with great offensive line play. Oklahoma is always in the reckoning for the Joe Moore Award, given to the best offensive line in College Football.
History of draft success for Boston College offensive lineman
However, one college program consistently churns out offensive line talent and has been doing so since 1940.
Guard Ernie Schwartzer, an 18th-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, was the first offensive lineman drafted out of Chestnut Hill and since then, 73 Boston College offensive linemen have made it to the NFL via the draft. In the 2007 NFL Draft, the only players to come out of BC were offensive linemen, with tackle James Marten, a third-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys and center Josh Beekman, a fourth-round selection for the Chicago Bears.
Some Boston College offensive linemen are more famous than others.
Damien Woody was a first-round pick of the New England Patriots in 1999 and went on to win the Super Bowl twice as a hometown hero. More recently, the current Indianapolis Colts starting left tackle Anthony Costanzo was the 22nd overall pick out of Boston College in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Most recently, Chris Lindstrom was the 14th overall pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Which brings me nicely to current Boston College starting center Alec Lindstrom.
Center Alec Lindstrom comes from offensive line heritage
If he enters the 2021 NFL Draft at the end of the 2020 college football season, Lindstrom will look to continue not only the Boston College legacy but a family one too.
Alec is the younger brother of the Falcons 2019 first-round pick, and the brothers have followed similar career paths to date.
Both players rose to prominence by excelling on the offensive line for Shepherd Hill High School. During his time as the starting center, Alec led Shepherd Hill to an impressive 270 yards per game as a junior, before spearheading an offensive line that saw Shepherd Hill rack up 3300 rushing yards at an incredible 7.6 yards per carry as a senior.
Proving that some things truly do run in the family, the head coach at Shepherd Hill was Chris Lindstrom Sr.. Alec’s father had been an offensive lineman at Boston University, and his play there earned him a place in their Hall of Fame as well as a five-year career in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Alec followed Chris Jr. from Shepherd Hill to Boston College but made an inconspicuous start to his college career with a medical redshirt in 2017. However, he was quick to make up for lost time with a start against Holy Cross in 2018 that saw the Eagles rack up 365 rushing yards. He also starred on special teams, playing in 11 games and seeing action as the long snapper for the team.
Can he be the next offensive lineman drafted from Boston College?
His stock began to rise in 2019.
As the starting center, Alec played in 12 games as a lynchpin of an offensive line that helped propel A.J. Dillon to a second-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Eagles ranked eighth in yards per carry (5.1) and ground out 254.2 yards per game. Lindstrom was the starter in games where they racked up over 200 rushing yards against Richmond, Kansas, Rutgers, Wake Forest, Louisville, Syracuse, and North Carolina State.
It is clear from his high school production and 2019 season for Boston College that Alec Lindstrom is a force in the running game. He brings a level of violence to his play that is typical of a run-blocking offensive lineman. His tape also shows multiple examples of him getting out to the second level in order to create lanes downfield.
It shouldn’t be understated how effective Alec is in pass protection too. He shows a high level of football intelligence with good play recognition. This is typified by his ability to pick up a blitz and negate the threat of the pass rusher. For all the focus on their prowess as a run-blocking unit, the Boston College offensive line unit allowed just 13 sacks through 2019.
The N.C. State game is a perfect example of the type of play that center Alec is capable of and why he should hear his name called in Cleveland if he declares for the 2021 NFL Draft.
In the video below, Lindstrom is number 72.
That game does highlight one weakness that could impact his draft stock and position in the interior offensive line class.
Both Lindstrom brothers were described as “skinny” in high school, and Alec weighed in at just 260lbs coming out of Shepherd Hill. Over his three years at Boston College, he has gained some weight but is considerably lighter than some of the names at the top of the position heading into the 2020 season. Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, and Wyatt Davis, to name a few, all weigh in considerably over 300lbs while Lindstrom currently tips the scale at 290lbs. As such, he can sometimes be bounced around at the line of scrimmage.
Our Neal Driscoll has Lindstrom ranked as the seventh-best interior offensive lineman in his most recent look at the class.
With another year of growth, both technically and physically, Lindstrom can put himself in the mix with the best at the position and continue both the Boston College and family legacy in the NFL Draft.