The Detroit Lions have been at it on the practice field for a few days during training camp, and the decision makers are seeing what the team needs to do in order to best position themselves for 2021.
After seeing a minor shakeup along the defensive front last week, the Lions made another addition to the offensive front designed to help them with depth for the 2021 season. Detroit signed center Evan Boehm to the roster, and the move fills the final roster spot the team had open.
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The move also came with the notable removal of Evan Heim off the COVID-IR list.
Boehm’s addition should be seen as yet another depth piece for competition at a very stacked spot on the roster. Even though this is the case, it’s always intriguing to add a former middle-round pick to see what he might do to help the team.
Boehm Stats and Highlights
Boehm was a 2016 fourth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, where he broke into the league for a pair of seasons in 2016 and 2017. After that, he moved on to the Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts in 2018. In 2019, Boehm was with the Miami Dolphins and was a member of the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squads in 2020. The Lions will become his seventh NFL team early in his career as he tries to establish himself.
Thus far in his career, Boehm has played in 55 NFL games with 21 starts. That’s a fair amount of work for a young player. Coming into the 2016 draft, Boehm was seen as a decent center out of Missouri given where he was drafted in the middle rounds.
For this Lions team, Boehm should be seen as a depth piece and a veteran who could add a bit of punch to a spot of the team which is already fairly deep.
Lions’ Offensive Line Looks Deep for 2021
Boehm should be seen as strictly a depth piece for the Lions given what the team has up front at this point in time. Over the past few years, the Lions have thrown money and time at their offensive front, and it seems to be paying off in a big way. The team has developed one of the top lines in the league after drafting and developing players, and 2021 could be the season the fruits of their labor pay off.
Recently, Pro Football Focus writer Ben Linsey looked at ranking every roster in the league, and looked at some strengths and weaknesses anticipated for 2021. As he wrote, a major positive is the team’s offensive line, and it’s the best part of the line this season.
As for why, he wrote:
“The Lions have made it clear that they plan to build through the trenches, and they’re off to a good start along the offensive line. Frank Ragnow projects as one of the best centers in the NFL this season, coming off a career-high 80.3 overall grade in 2020, but rookie right tackle Penei Sewell has the potential to be the best offensive lineman in this starting five. Sewell ended his 2019 true sophomore season at Oregon with a 95.8 PFF grade, which was higher than any offensive lineman in the PFF college era at the time.”
The offense will be a major plus for the Lions this season if the line can protect Jared Goff and get the ground game going. That’s the plan for the Lions both in 2021 and moving forward, and creating a solid line seems to be the wisest place to start.
Adding Boehm to the mix is just another way the Lions are looking to give themselves the best possible chance of protection in 2021.