How high will Danish offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt be picked in 2019 NFL Draft?

The 2019 NFL Draft is set to start April 25 and Danish offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt  (Yell-duh Fro-holt), one of only two international players in the Draft, is projected as a solid draft pick, going possibly as high as the fourth round.

If selected, Froholdt would join countrymen Andreas Knappe and Pro Football Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen as the only Danes to play in the NFL.

The 6’5″, 315 lb, 22 year old native of Svendborg, Denmark who played football in his native country for the Søllerød Gold Diggers, first went to the United States as an exchange student in 2013. He landed in Ohio where he started playing football to make friends but excelled and moved to the IMG Academy in Florida towards the end of his high school career. He earned a 4-star recruiting grade there and after offers from a number of major schools ended up in Arkansas where he played guard and center. He developed quickly and was moved to the offensive line where he started all 13 games in 2016 at left guard. The following year he started all 12 games and did not allow a sack while taking only two penalties. Froholdt started his senior season at center, starting the first three games there before switching back to left guard for the final nine contests.

Strengths

  • Tough, physical, strong player carrying good weight has decent athleticism for the position.
  • Makes his mark in the run game where he executes very well on pulling blocks, reach blocks, combo blocks, and can get to the second level. Can get his hands square inside the shoulders and move people. Athleticism can shine when he is in space looking for a man to block.
  • Has position versatility with experience starting at center and guard.
  • When he plays with a wide base as a pass blocker he can do a good job of absorbing initial contact and resetting his stance.

Weaknesses

  • Better run blocker than he is pass protector when facing speed and power he can lock his lower body and relies heavily on his upper body strength. He becomes stiff and plodding and grows roots in the ground. Makes him susceptible to losing his balance and leverage and he can get pushed way back.
  • Inconsistent technique overall, footwork can be hit or miss, same for hand placement and punch. Has issues popping up when trying to engage opponents.
  • Once beaten by speed he doesn’t have the necessary counter or athleticism to recover. He’ll hold or lunge out of desperation.

Overview

Froholdt has primarily lined up at guard, but a move to center might give him his best shot as a pro. He has good power to absorb and neutralize at the point of attack, but there just aren’t enough wins as an in-line blocker due to his lack of push. Froholdt also struggles to protect his edges through foot quickness or functional power and he should be able to get the help he needs at center. His ability to play both guard and center strengthens his case to make it to the NFL.

A number of teams are interested but some are hinting that the Chicago Bears or Washington Redskins might take the versatile Dane, maybe as high as round 4.

With excerpts from America’s Game Denmark, The Athletic, NFL.com

AFI
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