The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have signed former Minnesota State offensive guard Evan Heim.
Heim was a small-school prospect in the 2020 draft after graduating from Minnesota State - Mankato with a degree in finance in December of 2019. He was reportedly contacted by 28 of 32 teams during that recruiting process, but his path to the NFL was derailed by COVID. For a small-school prospect like Heim, pro days are key, but his was unfortunately canceled prior to the draft and he went both undrafted and unsigned.
“It was (crappy),” he told the Mankato Free Press back in 2020. “You put in all that work from Jan. 1 up to the draft and nothing happens. I always knew it was going to be tough (to get a chance). I just need a chance to get on the field and prove myself.”
This year, Heim had the opportunity to showcase his skills, participating at the University of Minnesota’s pro day in April.
@DraftDiamonds here is video of our big guy @bigbabyheim71 from MN State pro day testing. pic.twitter.com/W9QnT9nCuH— Synergy Sports (@SynergySPGB) April 2, 2020
Back in his college days, Heim measured in at 6-foot-4, 305 pounds. In 2019, the Minnesota State Mavericks set school records for rushing yards (4,246) and rushing touchdowns (59) behind Heim’s guidance. Over his four-year college career, he started 43 games at left tackle and 11 at right tackle, and in his senior year, he was named First-Team All American in D2.
Heim joins a Lions interior offensive line short on depth. Though they have Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai firmly entrenched as starters, the four players below them on the depth chart—Logan Stenberg, Evan Brown, and undrafted rookies Drake Jackson and Tommy Kraemer—have a total of 82 offensive snaps at the NFL level (all from Brown).