Four Former Eagles Selected in 2019 NFL Draft
By Bryan Bruwer
In this past weekend’s NFL Draft, four of Boston College’s very own heard their names called, signaling their official transition into the highest level of professional football. In addition, nine other Eagles were signed as undrafted free-agents and will report to NFL camps this summer. This article will recap where BC’s finest ended up, and how they project to contribute on the next level.
Chris Lindstrom (OG, 14thOverall, Atlanta Falcons)
The first Eagle off the board, to the surprise of no one familiar with the team, was versatile offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom. Lindstrom, a three-year starter with experience at both guard and tackle had projected as a late first round/early second round prospect during the draft process, but much like Jerome Robinson in the 2018 NBA Draft, Lindstrom was selected a bit ahead of schedule. Teams viewed Lindstrom as a plug and play prospect with a high floor and lower ceiling who should be a consistent starter for years to come. Lindstrom will provide reinforcements to an inconsistent Falcons offensive line that allowed fellow BC alum Matt Ryan to be sacked 42 times in 2018. Lindstrom will also help to pave the way for one of the more dynamic running backs in football when healthy, Devonta Freeman.
Zach Allen (DE, Pick 1 Round 3, 65thOverall, Arizona Cardinals)
For the second consecutive year, a Boston College pass rusher came off the board on Day Two of the draft, with Zach Allen following in the footsteps of current Tennessee Titans LB Harold Landry. Allen, much like Landry, was drafted a bit behind where he was projected, with many mock drafts having Allen selected as early as the late first round. Instead, Allen fell all the way to the first pick of the third round, representing tremendous value for a rebuilding Cardinals team. Like former teammate Chris Lindstrom, NFL scouts valued Allen’s high floor and pro-readiness, as well as his tremendous body of work in one of college football’s premier conferences. Allen, as part of an incredibly talented Arizona draft class including #1 pick Kyler Murray, University of Washington defensive back Byron Murphy, and UMass receiver Andy Isabella, looks to slot in beside one of the NFL’s best in former all-pro Chandler Jones in Arizona’s pass rush.
Will Harris (S, Pick 18 Round 3, 81stOverall, Detroit Lions)
Just past the halfway point of round three, the Detroit Lions traded up to land Will Harris, who will at the very least provide some much needed depth to their secondary. Harris, valued by NFL GM’s for his proclivity for delivering big hits and his excellent football instincts, went way higher than most projected, as many mock drafts didn’t have him landing anywhere near the third round. It’s also important to recognize the connection Harris has with Detroit defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, who was BC’s defensive line coach until taking the job with the Lions before the 2018 season. Regardless of whether this pick was a reach, the Lions can rest assured that they got one heck of a football player who looks to follow in the footsteps of his former teammate in the defensive backfield and fellow third round pick John Johnson III, who has exceeded expectations in his two seasons for the Los Angeles Rams.
Tommy Sweeney (TE, Pick 14 Round 7, 228th Overall, Buffalo Bills)
After becoming the first BC tight end to be drafted since 2004, Sweeney joins former teammate Matt Milano in Buffalo. The 2018 All-ACC first team member will start his career as a backup tight end in what is an overall uninspiring/inexperienced group in Buffalo following the departure of Charles Clay. Sweeney looks to differentiate himself with his soft hands and toughness, in addition to his ability to produce consistently in college despite playing in a run heavy offense. Scouts have questioned Sweeney’s upside due to a lack of pro-level speed and athleticism, but he’ll hope to prove the doubters wrong and carve out a successful NFL career.
Undrafted Free Agents
Not being drafted certainly isn’t the end of the line for NFL hopefuls. In fact, many incredibly successful NFL players such as Wes Welker, Tony Romo, and Antonio Gates (just to name a few) didn’t hear their names called on draft day. Many of these former Eagles will look to earn roster spots by standing out in camp and the preseason, and once they’re on an NFL roster, who knows what kind of opportunities will arise. Below are where undrafted BC products landed in free agency.
Taj Amir Torres- Tennessee Titans
Hamp Cheevers- Cleveland Browns
Lukas Denis- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Aaron Monteiro- Miami Dolphins
Wyatt Ray- Cleveland Browns
Jeff Smith- New York Jets
Ray Smith- Detroit Lions
Connor Strachan- Jacksonville Jaguars
Michael Walker- Jacksonville Jaguars
Our DUDES are just getting started.
— BC Football 🏈 (@BCFootball) April 28, 2019