After a somewhat questionable initial pick in the third round, the Denver Broncos' second pick of the round can't be criticized from a value perspective. With pick No. 83, the Broncos selected LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry.
Cushenberry is coming off a prolific final season in which he helped QB Joe Burrow win the Heisman Trophy and a National Championship with the Tigers. Going into the draft, Cushenberry was viewed by many draftniks, including our Senior Draft Analyst Erick Trickel, as a top-64 pick.
The 6-foot-3, 312-pound Cushenberry fell somewhat but he ended up landing in a very promising situation. After all, the Broncos were missing just one starting position on offense — center.
While the team will surely make Cushenberry earn it, it's safe to pencil him in as the projected 2020 starting center for the Broncos. The O-line for now projects with Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Cushenberry, Graham Glasgow, and Ja'Wuan James.
On paper, that's a fierce starting five. Combined with the coaching influence of Mike Munchak, the sky is the limit for Cushenberry.
Here's what Trickel had to say about Cushenberry's fit in our Finding Broncos scouting profile on him.
"The versatility that Cushenberry can bring to blocking schemes can fit in with the Broncos. While zone-blocking isn’t his strongest suit, he is good enough there. The power and gap concepts are really where he excels.
Getting Cushenberry working with Broncos' OL Coach Mike Munchak can do wonders for his development, as it can with just about any offensive lineman. If Denver were to land Cushenberry, it would have a solid starting five, on paper.
The word is, the Broncos can live with Patrick Morris and Austin Schlottmann competing for the center job, but Cushenberry would solve the position as a much better player."
For those who doubted GM John Elway after making the Michael Ojemudia pick just six selections prior, the Cushenberry pick should balance the scales. Three of the team's first four picks, for the second straight year, are on the offensive side of the ball.