Hjalte Froholdt is an under the radar guard prospect who could be on the Chicago Bears radar in the middle rounds.
The Chicago Bears enter the offseason with two solid starters at guard. However, due to the age and health status of Kyle Long, it is fair to note that this also can be looked at as a team need entering the 2019 draft.
Of course, without a pick in the top 86 selections, it would be hard to add a true impact starter. One way the team could look to fill the spot is with a high upside bet in the later rounds. If this is how the Bears add guard this offseason, do not be surprised if that name is Hjalte Froholdt.
Hjalte Froholdt is an interesting prospect who would be the first pro football player from Denmark. The foreign exchange student played defensive tackle most of his college career and was a Division One prospect at the position.
However, in his sophomore year at Arkansas, the Razorbacks moved him to the offensive line, and he has not looked back since.
Hjalte Froholdt showed naturally as a pass protector with fluid feet and strong balance. He worked his way up to being a 2nd team All-SEC performer and a team captain last season. Last year, Pro Football Focus rated him third in pass protection. The growth at the position has caught a lot of evaluators eyes, including the Bears-who brought Froholdt in for a visit.
Here is what NFL.com had to say about Hjalte Froholdt
"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 become a solid backup who can step in and start in a pinch."
And here is Dane Brugler of the Athletic.
"Overall, Froholdt plays too finesse and needs to develop his functional strength, but he is a fluid athlete with guard-center position flex, projecting as a developmental backup with down-the-road starter potential"
It is worth noting that both pointed to his functional strength as his biggest question. Both also pointed to a switch to center in the future. While he may need to show his nastiness more on the field, NFL evaluators have to be intrigued that he put up 31 bench reps on the combine. The strength and aggresion is there, it needs to be brought out of him.
The Bears clearly love guard prospects who can slide into center. See James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, Eric Kush, and Ted Larsen. Heck, there is a world where Cody Whitehair slides into Kyle Long’s spot, and a second-year Hjalte Froholdt steps into the center spot in 2020.
At the worst, the versatility to back up both positions makes him a great depth piece who could replace Ted Larsen in the long term.
Hjalte Froholdt has upside, and most of his issues can be corrected with the right coaching. He is raw, but is a natural at the position and could make a great late-round find for the Chicago Bears.