From Senior Bowl to rookie camp, Falcons’ first-round picks continue to gel on and off field

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – When Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary were both in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl back in January little did they know this wasn’t the only time in their lives they would be teammates. They were both named to the North team roster for the highly-scouted affair.

On the way to a charity event that week, Lindstrom and McGary sat next to one another on the bus and that’s when their friendship began.

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McGary won Lindstrom over with his “hilarious” personality and they two stayed in touch in the weeks leading up to the NFL combine at the end of February. At the combine they went through position drills together watching one another and spending extra time getting to know each other.

Neither Lindstrom of McGary knew where they would end up at the time, but they were going to lean on one another during the process.

Fast-forward two months to the NFL Draft and both Lindstrom and McGary were drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round.

“We just kind of gelled instantly,” McGary said. “Now I’m here with him and it’s awesome.”

The Falcons selected Lindstrom with their first pick – No. 14 overall – and then traded back into the first round to select McGary with the 31st pick. Lindstrom recalls the moment after he was drafted when he saw his friend would also be joining him in Atlanta.

“It was really cool to build that relationship and then when he got drafted I was so happy I texted him right away,” Lindstrom said. “It’s been awesome [to go through this] together.”

Although they play different positions, McGary and Lindstrom both share the same traits the Falcons were looking for.

Gritty, physical and tough.

On the first day of minicamp practice, McGary and Lindstrom lined up right next to one another on the right side.

“I think we complement each other well,” McGary said. “We’re both really big, really physical. We like to come off the ball. We both know what we’re doing.”

The transition from college to the NFL can be tough and Atlanta’s two first-round picks will go through the journey together.

Something they’ve both admitted is something they’re looking forward too.

“This whole process has been good to have each other,” Lindstrom said. “We’ve been working, studying, if we have questions, we’re bouncing them off each other. Just trying to be great players. We really enjoy each other, and we enjoy being a part of the team and it definitely makes it easier.”

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