Draft preview: BYU OT Christensen feels comfy within the function of outsider | Sports activities
Brady Christensen grew up in Bountiful, Utah and was a three-athlete who played midfield for his high school baseball team.
This isn’t a fact that is typically found on a potential left tackle’s résumé, but BYU’s All-American consensus isn’t a typical potential left tackle.
“I’ve known for a long time that I was an athletic type,” Christensen told reporters after his pro day last month. “I’m not just a big, fat guy – as some people might think (offensive linemen). I knew I had that in me so I was just so excited, so excited to get out of here and show what I can do and show that I am an athletic type and that I can really move up to an elite level and have elite feet and elite hands, and that’s what I really wanted to show today. “
The headline of the Cougars’ pro day on March 26 was a pass from quarterback Zach Johnson that became a social media sensation. But Christensen was perhaps the most impressive player on the field that day.
His 10-foot-4 long jump is a record for an offensive lineman. Ever.
Nowhere in the country was a greater distance measured on the NFL Scouting Combine or a pro-day on campus.
By three inches.
It was a brand that Christensen knew he could reach and one that should put an end to the bizarre tale of a lack of athleticism. Christensen also ran a 4.9-second 40-yard dash, recorded a vertical jump of 34 inches, and created a relative athletic score – a metric that shows a player’s athleticism on a scale of 1 to 10 according to their height and position rated – from 9.84.
“I think it’s incredibly important at the next level,” said Christensen. “Not only can you be a big guy, you can also be athletic. You’re blocking some of the sportiest guys on the field so you have to match that athleticism. “
There are legitimate concerns about Christensen.
He will be a 24-year-old rookie after serving two years on a Latter-day Saint mission in New Zealand. He has not played the consistent level of competition that a player in a Power 5 conference competes against. And his 32¼-inch arms aren’t ideal, suggesting some long-legged pass rushers might throw him off balance and make an easier path to quarterback.
But Christensen has dispelled doubts before. He was a two-star recruit and was on his mission when Bronco Mendenhall went to Virginia and took many of the coaches who recruited him to Charlottesville. New head coach Kelani Sitake paid tribute to BYU’s commitment, and Christensen repaid him with 38 straight starts in the left tackle – ending his career as the program’s first All-American consensus in 12 years.
None of this changed his underdog mentality. Weighing 6-foot-5 and 302 pounds, Christensen has spent much of his off-season adding bulk.
“My goal is 305,” he said. “No excuses. I still want to gain more weight. I feel really good at this weight. I will keep working on gaining weight so I can play at a higher weight. That is definitely my goal. It is not easy to gain weight, but I just eat healthy, eat a lot and go from there. “
Projection drafts suggest that it could be selected as early as the second round, but it is more commonly seen as a day 3 election.
Working with former BYU offensive tackle John Tait – a pick of the Kansas City Chiefs from round one in 1999 – Christensen dreamed of the opportunities at the next level.
He knows the work he’s done for the Cougars in the field matters most, but he hopes the Pro-Day performance made a memorable impression.
“Obviously the film is your product,” he said. “That’s the most important. This is what you bring out. This is what the teams look at. But I think Pro Day can definitely get teams to re-evaluate, maybe rethink, or go back and go back to watching movies and seeing some – maybe something they missed. “