12pm ET | ESPNU
This is an intriguing big-on-big matchup of contrasting styles and abilities, but the one thing both Chris Lindstrom and Michael Dogbe have in common is that they are both extremely strong players.
Dogbe, who is considered the strongest player in the Temple program, has high-end genetics. When it comes to body type, in which scouts put a lot of stock, there are few big men in this year’s draft class that look as pretty as Dogbe. He also promises to be one of the top testing DL at the Combine. School sources report that he has hit 37 reps on the bench and his 9’7” broad jump is almost freakishly explosive for someone that is 280 pounds.
Prior to this season, Dogbe left many scouts wanting more — the physical potential outweighed the production. Through the first four games this year, Dogbe is finally turning his talent into tackles. In 11 games as a junior, Dogbe had 26 tackles, 2 TFL, and 0 sacks. Heading into Saturday’s game against Boston College, he has totaled 24 tackles, 5 TFL, and 3.5 sacks and all those plays behind the line-of-scrimmage are what scouts want to see from someone with such disruptive tools.
Another positive for Dogbe that should not be overlooked is that he is wearing the No. 9 jersey this year. Temple reserves all single-digits for the nine toughest players on the team and things like that are not lost on NFL decision-makers.
This week’s game will be a good test for Dogbe and his DL mates because the BC offensive line has seven players that entered the season with at least 10 career starts, led by Lindstrom’s current streak of 40 games. After a disappointing 19-17 upset loss versus Villanova earlier in the year, Dogbe commented afterwards about how Villanova’s experienced offensive line allowed them to play as a unit and create running room. He will face a similar challenge this week against the Eagles, who are one of only 18 teams in the country that returned all five starting offensive linemen this year.
We have looked at some early-season tape and there is a lot to like about Lindstrom. While he is not the twitchiest athlete and may not have the eye-popping weight room numbers like Dogbe, Lindstrom, perhaps even more importantly, is a strong player at the point-of-attack. In scouting, a couple of key descriptors are “functional strength” and “plays square,” meaning an OL does not get his body turned and they take up space. When it relates to those terms, Lindstrom has it and he does it. Very few offensive line prospects these days are explosive enough to knock people off the ball and Lindstrom is not that guy either. However, Lindstrom consistently gets his body in good position and he rarely gives ground once he covers people up.
The other thing that sticks out about Lindstrom is his football intelligence. His experience is obvious on tape. In the run game, he has a good feel for timing and angles so he fits double-teams and does a nice job working up to the second-level. In pass pro, he has good eyes and he is extremely patient so sees things quickly and he provides good help.
This Saturday’s game in Chestnut Hill will be a big test for both Dogbe and Lindstrom in the eyes of NFL evaluators.
Ohio State WR Parris Campbell vs. Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye
Oruwariye’s size, length, and ball skills will be matched up against the explosiveness and big play ability of Campbell.
Stanford RB Bryce Love vs. Notre Dame DT Jerry Tillery and LBs Te’Von Coney and Drue Tranquill
Heisman hopeful Bryce Love will have his work cut out for him against the fast-flowing front seven of Notre Dame’s defense led by Tillery, Coney, and Tranquill.
Syracuse WR Jamal Custis vs. Clemson CB Mark Fields
Opposites attract in this 1-on-1 matchup. Fields is quick footed and loose hipped but his lack of size will be challenged by the long, 6’5” Custis.
Boise State QB Brett Rypien vs. Wyoming DE Carl Granderson
Granderson’s relentless motor and heavy hands will look to put pressure on Rypien and slow down Boise State’s aerial attack.
USC CB Iman Marshall vs. Arizona WR Shawn Poindexter
Marshall’s ability to locate the football and make plays on it will be put to the test against the 6’5” red-zone threat, Poindexter.
-- Jim Nagy, Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director