by Christian Mott
While the headline for BYU on NFL Draft weekend was seeing star quarterback Zach Wilson drafted second overall, several other Cougars are trying to make their mark on the league. Look no further than third round pick Brady Christensen for that. What kind of impact can he have on Carolina’s offense in year one? Can he become a successful NFL Tackle? Nick Chandler joins again to discuss what attributes make Christensen a steal.
Brady Christensen, OT
Drafted: #70 | Team: Carolina Panthers
Currently, the NFL has shaped its league around quarterbacks. The three most valued positions in nfl is the quarterback, the defenders who go after them and the hogs on the offensive line who protect them. The offensive line as the single most important position group in the NFL. No matter how good a quarterback is, they’ll be largely ineffective without a good line. Just look at newly acquired Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold. This is the reason that Christensen was selected by Carolina. Despite being a third round pick, his college resume speaks for itself. He was named a first-consensus All-American and started every game for a three year span. Two things that hurt Christensen in the draft was the level of competition and his build.
“ When i look at him hes a bit raw, but i like him a lot,” Chandler said. “He had a good pro day and great measurables, he’s got a good length and a frame that suggests he could play left tackle down the road but he moves well enough that he will probably profiles on the right to start until he adds a little weight to that big 6’6″ frame.”
Standing at 6’6” and 300 pounds, Christensen has to bulk up about 10-15 pounds, but he will be fine as a plug and play right tackle. He’s got good length, but if he were to play the left tackle he would need to bulk up.
Its pretty hard to set expectations for an offensive lineman. Unlike any other position, there isn’t an easy statistic to measure greatness. Instead for Christensen, the expectation will be set by starts and Carolina’s overall improvement. The situation at the moment is that Christensen will be Carolina’s starting tackle against the Jets in Week 1. In order to gage his season, count how many times Darnold ends up on his back. Unless injured, it’s safe to say that Christensen will start all 16 for the Panthers.
He’s going to have his hands full with the NFC South Division. He will be tested early and often and shouldn’t be expected to dominate in those matchups. If he can hold his own and give enough time for Darnold to throw, that’s all Carolina can ask for. Not often do people focus on an offensive lineman, but Christensen will be a focus every Sunday. Several wins or losses could be determined by his play at the end of the day.
Featured image courtesy Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News