Yesterday, the Cardinals sent offensive line and defensive back coaches to Boston College for the Eagles’ Pro Day. For BC, it was the largest gathering of pro scouts and coaches that they have seen in a number of years. This year, BC has a number of intriguing NFL prospects.
BC Players invited to the NFL Combine (a record number of 7):
- G Chris Lindstrom (6-4, 310, 2 time 1st Team All-ACC)—-coming off strong performances at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, Lindstrom might be the first true guard to be drafted. The Cardinals worked him out in drills yesterday, as did the Patriots’ vaunted offensive line coach, Dante Scarneccia. According to Draft Analyst, Tony Pauline, Lindstrom was very impressive in the drills. At the Combine, Pauline issued Lindstrom high praise when he likened him to former BC and NY Giants’ All Pro G Chris Snee.
- DE Zach Allen (6-5, 290, 2018 PFF 2nd Team All-American)—-coaches are very impressed with Allen’s versatility. He is a fit at 43 DE, 34 DE and as both an edge and inside pass rusher in sub packages. For an edge player, Allen is a tackling and playmaking savant—-in the past two seasons he recorded 161 tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. He is superb at getting his hands on passes.
- S Will Harris (6-2, 210, 4.41 40)—-As a senior, Harris started all 12 games at SS, and recorded 73 tackles and 1 interception. As a junior, he started all 13 games, he led the nation with four fumble recoveries and he was third on the team with 83 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one interception, two pass breakups and one sack. Harris is physical and arrives at the ball in a hurry.
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- TE Tommy Sweeney (6-5, 255, career 99 catches, 1,281, 10 TDs )—-Sweeney is a highly competitive TE who is a solid blocker and a good receiving target. He’s not a modern day blazer at TE and is more of an old-fashioned well-rounded type.
- Lukas Denis (5-11, 185, 4.64 40, 6.86 3 cone)—-tied for the NCAA lead in interceptions as a junior—-he’s adept at sniffing out and jumping routes from the free safety position. Has good short area quickness and anticipation. Not very physical, which will likely make him a Day 3 pick. Has value as cover 2 free safety and slot CB.
- OLB Wyatt Ray (6-3, 250, 2018 3rd Team All-ACC, 9 sacks as senior, 114 tackles, 24 tfl and 17 sacks for career)—-offers speed and quickness off the edge.
- LB Connor Strachan (6-0, 240, 91 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble as a senior)—-has a nose for the ball as run stuffer and is very good over the middle in pass coverage.
- LT Aaron Monteiro (6-7, 320)—-has excellent size, strong thighs and upper body and solid feet. Will likely flip over to RT in the NFL. Was getting a good deal of attention from the scouts and coaches yesterday. He was not invited to the Combine.
- WR Jeff Smith (6-1, 195)—-ran 4.34 40 yesterday—-a converted QB who was a natural fit in the team’s jet sweeps and passing attack. He is a Kliff Kingsbury type of WR who can stretch the defense via the run and pass and has excellent RAC ability.
- WR/PR/KR Michael Walker (6-0, 200, 2018 2nd Team All-ACC return man)—-led the nation in combined yards on punt and kickoff returns. Has a catch, make one move and run through the middle style. Super tough and fearless.
- C/G Jon Baker (6-3, 300). Two year captain who returned this year from a season ending knee injury in 2017 which happened in the first game. He is a tough kid who plays with good leverage. Should surprise a team late in draft or as a UCFA. This kid can play.
- DT Ray Smith (6-1, 300)—-short but powerful run stuffer who recorded 108 tackles the last two years (which is pretty rare production for a DT. Probably won’t get drafted, but could find a niche as run stuffer in short yardage and goal line situations.
Perhaps the Cardinals biggest dilemma will be what to do with the #33 pick. They will have the night to take calls for trade offers and to rank which players are on the board.
Two BC players could figure prominently here: G Chris Lindstrom and DE Zach Allen, and imo, as a BC alum, having watched every one of the their games at BC, both Lindstrom and Allen are very deserving of the pick. One or both of them could sneak into the late portion of Round 1.
I could see the Cardinals taking S Will Harris at the start of the 4th round, although he might sneak into the late portion of the 3rd round after his outstanding Combine performance. The Cardinals would like to add safety depth in this draft and they focused quite a bit of their attention on Will Harris yesterday.
OLB Wyatt Ray would be a a good value pick in Round 5, if he is still on the board.
I am not sure that FS Luka Denis has the length and physicality the Cardinals covet at safety. Nor do I think TE Tommy Sweeney and LB Connor Strachan are the right system fits.
However, WR Jeff Smith would be an outstanding 6th or 7th round pick, as would T Aaron Monteiro and C/G Jon Baker. And if the Cardinals weren’t so stacked at punt and kickoff return I would love to see them pick WR Michael Walker, who is also a nifty RAC slot WR.