2. Alex Forsyth, C
I think once the 2023 season officially begins, seventh-round draft pick Alex Forsyth will end up being the primary backup to Lloyd Cushenberry at the center position. Forsyth was nearly undrafted, but he's got very encouraging qualities for a potential starter in the NFL. His football IQ and disciplined play are something that I think trump any sort of physical attributes that he may not have.
Cushenberry is entering the last year of his rookie contract with the Denver Broncos after being a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The hope was that Cush could replace Connor McGovern, who has since spent time with the New York Jets. Well, that has not been the case. Cushenberry has been a low-end starter at best, and even though he's gotten gradually better, he is still the weakest player on an offensive line that could be one of the best in the NFL this year.
I would hate to see the other four OL players hold their own only for Cushenberry to continue his struggles. It's really now or never for the former LSU Tiger who used to snap the ball to Joe Burrow. I don't think Sean Payton will hesitate to pull Lloyd Cushenberry from the lineup if he shows struggles in 2023. Payton invested a ton of money and resources into this team in 2023 and is clearly showing that he thinks the Broncos can win and make the playoffs.
He's not going to let a potentially sub-par center get in the way of that, so I think this is where Alex Forsyth can potentially come into play. Ideally, though, Cushenberry breaks out in year four much like Garett Bolles did and plays his way into a contract extension with the Broncos.
That would allow Denver to focus on other positions on the offense and would kind of close the door on the offensive line. That unit has historically been good with Sean Payton-coached teams, so I have confidence that it can be settled once and for all very soon.