Evan Boehm had to wait until the third day of the 2016 NFL Draft before he got the phone call that he was waiting for. But that waiting may have paid off in a big way with a golden opportunity.
The Arizona Cardinals selected the University of Missouri center in the fourth round on Sunday, with the 128th overall pick, and coach Bruce Arians’ squad has an opening in the starting lineup at center.
“Yeah, and I can’t wait to go in and compete and try to earn a spot,” Boehm told Cardinals reporters during a conference call. “It’s going to be tough, but I’ve got to get in there and learn this offense and be able to compete for a spot. I’m very excited to do that.”
The Cardinals went 13-3 a year ago — the second-best record in the NFC — and unseated the Seattle Seahawks for the top spot in the NFC West. Their starting center, Lyle Sendlein, was not offered a contract this offseason to return to Arizona.
Arians told reporters that the starting spot wouldn’t be handed to Boehm, but the Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West High School product will have a chance to compete for that job going into his rookie season.
Boehm’s experience — he was a four-year starter for Mizzou and is the son of a coach — should help in his transition to the next level. Now he has to learn a new offense and be ready for the challenge.
Boehm was asked if that would be a daunting task for him.
“No, I think I’m pretty football intelligent,” he said. “But, you look at the two guards next to me, they are pretty dang good. I can lean on those guys because they know what they are doing and they know how to do it. I think if I go in there and I keep working hard to try and learn this offense and get it down, I have two great guys next to me that will be able to help.”
Boehm also has a familiarity with the Cardinals because of former teammate Markus Golden, who was a rookie linebacker on Arizona’s NFC West championship team last season.
“Knowing Markus Golden, I talk to him quite a bit, and he’s had nothing but great things to say about Arizona,” Boehm said. “He loves it. Hearing him talk about it and then getting that phone call, it’s unbelievable. It’s a dream come true, like I said. The expectations are there, and I want to be there with those expectations and I want to live through that.”
Boehm watched the Cardinals last season because of Golden.
“They’re a great team,” he said. “It was fun watching those guys. The defensive line that I’m going to have to go against in practice is pretty good and I think that will get me prepared to get ready on Sundays as well. I’m very excited to get in there and give it my all and compete.”