Right guard spot unsettled for Arizona Cardinals
Evan Boehm is the Arizona Cardinals’ starting right guard, but the second-year player may need to battle to keep his spot
When Evan Boehm got drafted by the Arizona Cardinals last year, he thought he’d be the team’s center. That plan hasn’t worked out. Veteran A.Q. Shipley held off the rookie’s challenge, and the Cards now have Boehm penciled in to be the starter at right guard.
Boehm did play the position a bit late last season, after the Cardinals’ offensive line had been ravaged by injuries. The coaching staff apparently liked what they saw, enough to hand the fourth-round pick the job. But management has since provided him some competition, so remaining the starter will be anything but easy for Boehm.
Because of the previously mentioned injuries, the versatile John Wetzel also saw time at right guard in 2016. The 25-year old journeyman saw more time at the tackle spots, however. But with both D.J. Humphries and Jared Veldheer now healthy, Wetzel may set his sights on Boehm’s slot.
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This year’s fourth-round pick, Dorian Johnson, is extremely talented. Concerns about a liver condition that he reportedly has under control caused him to tumble in the draft. If the University of Pittsburgh product truly has the second-round skills that draftniks say he does, then Boehm may need to worry about Johnson also.
30-year old Tony Bergstrom was an interesting post-draft signing for Arizona. The former third-round pick of the Oakland Raiders has started just four games in his NFL career. Still, that’s more experience than Boehm has, so he also can’t be overlooked for right guard.
Boehm finishing training camp as the starter is obviously not set in stone. He knows first-hand the feeling of disappointment after being beaten out by Shipley for the center position last year. Very few jobs in the league are completely safe.
Boehm may be about to find that out the hard way.