Why the Slide?: Lloyd Cushenberry, C, LSU
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell
Six years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. Four years ago, we started the Why the Slide? series, and this year it is back. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can't promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.
At times during the leadup to the 2020 NFL Draft, LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry had some draft experts placing him in the first round of mock drafts. Cushenberry was part of a very good offensive line that helped LSU go undefeated and win a Nation Championship. With a lot of LSU prospects rising prior to the draft, Cushenberry received some first-round projections. However, he slid to the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Cushenberry slid to the third round according to team sources because that was where his consensus grade was across the league. From surveying a handfull of teams, they all had Cushenberry as a mid-rounder with the third-round being the highest grade. Thus, teams felt he did not really slide.
The Denver Broncos ended Cushenberry's fall, and they were a good landing spot for him. Veteran Connor McGovern was allowed to leave in free agency because Denver wanted an upgrade over him. That opens up the opportunity for Cushenberry to step in and immediately compete for the starting job. To get the starting job, Cushenberry will have to beat out Patrick Morris and Austin Schlottmann, which is not a tall order. Even if Cushenberry doesn't win the starting job right away, before long, he probably will be the Broncos' starting center given their third-round pick investment in him. Denver was an excellent landing spot for Cushenberry to quickly establish himself as a starter in the NFL, and from there, he could be off to a good career with the Broncos.
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