After a college career that saw him start every game for four straight seasons at Virginia Tech, offensive tackle Blake DeChristopher, hopes the reliability he exhibited for the Hokies helps make him an attractive option to NFL teams later this month.
The 6-foot-4, 305-pound DeChristopher in 2011 took home the ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy – the award given to the conference’s best blocker.
He proved his durability and toughness over the course of his college career, particularly as senior when he suffered a torn pectoral muscle during the preseason. It was originally believed he would miss a portion of his final season. The tear ended up being less severe than first thought, and DeChristopher returned to action without missing any regular season time.
“It was a little scary to think that you’re not going to be able to play some or any of your senior season,” DeChristopher said. “I was nervous, and worried, but it was a relief not to have needed surgery like we first thought.”
DeChristopher this past season averaged nearly 10 knock-down blocks a game, and helped pave the way for a campaign that has helped running back David Wilson earn consideration as a late-first, early-to-mid-second-round pick in this year’s draft.
“I just tried to go out, work hard and help my teammates succeed, help my team win,” DeChristopher says. “I feel like my strengths suit me both in pass protection and run-blocking.”
Some analysts wonder if DeChristopher has the athleticism to play right tackle in the NFL, and DeChristopher has heard from some teams that they believe he will wind up doing well converting to a guard in a zone-blocking scheme.
“It doesn’t really matter where I play,” he says. “I feel confident at multiple positions.”
DeChristopher is projected to go late in the draft, or he could sign as an undrafted free agent. But he says it doesn’t matter to him how he winds up on an NFL team.
“I’ve always learned that the biggest thing is not where you start, but where you finish,” DeChristopher says. “Whether I’m drafted, or signed as a free agent, I’ll work hard. … A team would be getting a guy that likes to play physical, that doesn’t like to lose and likes to play hard and work hard.”