Denver Broncos: Lloyd Cushenberry ranked as one of worst centers in football

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
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Denver Broncos' projected starting center Lloyd Cushenberry was placed near the bottom of PFF's center ranking for the 2023 season. In fact, he was ranked as the fourth-worst starter in the NFL, coming in at 26/32 on the rankings, only ranking in front of Nick Gates, Aaron Brewer, and Hjalte Froholdt.

Three of the top centers taken in the 2023 NFL Draft were ranked below them, so Cush has effectively been placed at the very bottom, which is an unfortunate truth that the Broncos seem to be fine with living with for now.

They did add a depth piece at center in Kyle Fuller this offseason, but he's just that, a depth piece. Denver also drafted Alex Forsyth, a talented center out of Oregon in the 2023 NFL Draft. I actually think Forsyth can beat out Cushenberry for the starting center job in 2023 unless the Broncos decide to sign someone.

Here's what PFF had to say about Cushenberry:

"Cushenberry really struggled as a rookie in 2020, earning a 40.5 PFF grade on 1,076 snaps and allowing 24 pressures from 655 pass-blocking snaps. He has still struggled as a run blocker over the past two seasons but looked solid as a pass blocker until injury derailed his 2022 season. His 68.8 PFF pass-blocking grade last year ranked 13th at the position."

Gordon McGuinness

The one thing that worries me here is that according to PFF, Cushenberry isn't a great run blocker, which might end up not being a schematic fit in Denver. I think it's clear that the Broncos plan on running the heck out of the ball in 2023; they signed two excellent run-blocking offensive linemen in free agency, signed Samaje Perine, an excellent blocking tight end in Chris Manhertz, and may just get Javonte Williams back for week one.

All things point to Denver being a run-heavy team, and Cushenberry not being a good run blocker might be a small disaster. Is Denver really sold on moving forward with the former LSU Tiger?

It would be in their benefit to pursue a trade for Colts' center Ryan Kelly or take to free agency to sign Ben Jones to round out what could become the best offensive line in football in 2023 and beyond.

Next. 4 Broncos players definitely entering their last year in Denver. 4 Broncos players definitely entering their last year in Denver. dark