BC’s Tennant next in line
|02.27.10 at 11:09 am ET|
INDIANAPOLIS ‘ The NFL Scouting Combine can be an extremely disconcerting experience.
Boston College offensive lineman Matt Tennant ran the gauntlet of tests when he first showed up in Indianapolis earlier this week.
‘The first day we got here, went over to the hospital to get some blood drawn, urine tests, EKG, MRIs, x-rays. The next day, had to wake up for drug tests,’ he said. ‘I got poked and prodded every single way. At one point, I had both of my arms being checked out, both legs getting checked out and my head getting checked out, all at the same time.
‘You kind of feel like a piece of meat, but at the same time, NFL teams are investing a lot of money in you and they have to do it. It’s completely understandable.’
Tennant managed to keep his head, and will head into workouts this weekend with an excellent shot at being the next Boston College offensive lineman to make his mark in the NFL.
Year after year, the Eagles have consistently been able to deliver some of the finest offensive linemen in the league. It’s a group that includes Patriots center Dan Koppen, Pete Kendall, Tom Nalen, Chris Snee, Ron Stone, Damien Woody and Jeremy Trueblood.
‘You get to BC, you see what the older guys are doing, what they learned from the older guys before them. It’s just a big circle,’ said the 6-foot-4½, 300-pound center, one of two BC guys at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.
‘You continue to develop and learn those techniques that the older guys taught you, and then I in turn teach the younger guys; now I’m done, and those guys take over, and the high schoolers coming in see the same things I did.’
Tennant certainly has the chops. He was an honorable mention All-ACC performer as a senior, and he earned second team All-America honors by the Walter Camp Foundation. Despite Tommy John surgeries on both elbows (one in 2008 as a collegian, the other in 2004 as a high schooler in Ohio), he was a mainstay at center for Boston College the last three seasons, starting 40 straight games for the Eagles since winning the job prior to the 2007 season
According to many experts, he may be a bit too undersized to succeed at center in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t thrive at the professional level at guard.
‘I think his best football is ahead of him,’ NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock said of Tennant. ‘He was an undersized center who’s finally getting some weight into that 6-foot-4 frame, I think he’s got a chance down the road who can be a pretty good offensive lineman who can play all three positions ‘ center and both guards.’
That’s OK with Tennant, who has experience as a high schooler at tackle. He played some guard at BC ‘ and took some snaps there at the Senior Bowl last month ‘ before making the switch to center full-time.
‘You just try to show some flexibility,’ he said. ‘It’s important if you can play center, guard, maybe even some tackle. I think I can play in space like that. I just need the reps. I’ve been playing center for three years ‘ that’s where BC wanted me and that’s where they kept me. But I think I can play anywhere.’