2. Lloyd Cushenberry, C
Lloyd Cushenberry played in 40 games across his first three NFL seasons and didn't look anything like a starting-caliber center. Well, in 2023, not only has Cushenberry been enjoying the best season of his career, but he's actually been one of the best centers in football. According to ESPN, Cushenberry ranks 17th among all interior offensive linemen in pass block win rate.
Cush is also in the middle of an offensive line that ranks 9th and 2nd in pass block and run block win rate, respectively. What we have here is an above-average offensive line from the Denver Broncos. The team has trotted out two above-average starters this year, and you could argue that Cushenberry has been the best of the five.
The hard part comes this offseason. The former third-round pick is set to hit the open market, and the Broncos also have a very talented right guard in Quinn Meinerz who will be eligible for an extension. Denver also has a ton of money invested into Garett Bolles, Ben Powers, and Mike McGlinchey, so I am curious to see how Sean Payton approaches this.
The team drafted Alex Forsyth, a center, in the 2023 NFL Draft, so maybe those were light preparations for Cushenberry leaving. Either way, he's been great this year.