TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals selected Evan Boehm in the fourth round of the NFL draft, and the center from Missouri should push for a starting job right away.
Boehm, son of a high school coach, was the 30th player chosen in the fourth round on Saturday and the 128th selected overall.
The Cardinals have a need at center. Last year’s starter Lyle Sendlein won’t return.
And the team could give the job to the rookie Boehm, placing him between veteran guards Mike Iupati and Evan Mathis.
“I think I’m pretty football intelligent,” Boehm said in a conference call. “But 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.”
Boehm, who was offered a scholarship at Missouri when he was in the eighth grade, started all 52 games in his college career. He played every game as a senior despite a high ankle sprain.
“It happened the fifth play of the season, and it just went on and on and on the whole season,” he said. “I don’t think I was ever 100 percent, but when I went out there, I gave 100 percent of what I could. I think it started to get better toward the end.”
The 6-foot-2, 309-pound lineman knows about the Cardinals from his friend and former teammate, Arizona outside linebacker 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.”
Boehm was the third player chosen by Arizona.
The Cardinals selected defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche in the first round on Thursday, the 29th pick overall, and cornerback Brandon Williams of Texas A&M in the third round on Friday, the 92nd selection overall. The team did not have a second-round pick. It was sent to New England as part of the trade that brought outside linebacker Chandler Jones to Arizona.