Scouting 2020 NFL Draft prospect and former LSU offensive lineman Lloyd Cushenberry III.
There is a lot of offensive tackle talent to like in the 2020 NFL draft class. The four offensive tackles at the top (Jedrick Wills Jr., Tristan Wirfs, Andrew Thomas and Mekhi Becton) could all go within the top 10 picks and there is some solid depth at the position. However, there are not many interior offensive line prospects to get excited about.
There are some later-round interior offensive line prospects who are worth keeping an eye on, but it is extremely unlikely that a true interior offensive line prospect goes in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
However, LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry III is among the interior offensive linemen in this class who could easily end up landing with a team early in the second round. Cushenberry started all 28 of LSU’s games the last two seasons at the center position. He was a major part of their historic offensive success in 2019 and was named a second-team All-American for his impressive play up front.
Prior to the 2019 season, Cushenberry, along with LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, was awarded the famous No. 18 jersey by the LSU coaches. A player has the earn the opportunity to wear No. 18 at LSU, a tradition that began with former quarterback Matt Mauck. “Mauck’s No. 18 became synonymous with success – both on and off the field – as well as a selfless attitude that has become the epitome of being an LSU football player,” according to Michael Bonnette of LSU Sports.
NCAA rules prevented Cushenberry from actually wearing No. 18 (he wore a patch on his jersey instead), but this is a great example of his fantastic character and ability to make an impact on and off of the field.
Weight: 315 pounds
Cushenberry has a solid build and great length for the center position. He is quick off of the ball and shows good overall athleticism for an interior offensive lineman. He shows off his impressive quickness and play speed when blocking at the second level, getting into position quickly and blocking the second-level defender under control.
Once engaged, Cushenberry shows good hand placement and tremendous natural grip strength. He fires his hands out quickly and once he latches on in the run game, it is typically game over for the defender.
Cushenberry also consistently plays with great competitive toughness. This guy plays with a hot motor, looking to finish with power on a consistent basis. I would not call Cushenberry’s power elite or anything like that, but he has enough functional strength to handle most players up front at the next level.
In pass protection, Cushenberry gets up and into his pass sets quickly. He shows clean footwork and is extremely patient with his hands. Cushenberry’s functional athleticism allows him to have success most of the time against speed and he can anchor against power at a solid level as well.
Overall, Cushenberry is an exciting center prospect who could probably play guard if needed at the next level. His combination of athleticism and strength gives him obvious upside on the interior and likely gives him scheme versatility as well. I like Cushenberry best as the starting center in a zone rushing scheme, but he could certainly perform well in a gap scheme as well.
Simply put, Cushenberry is one of the best interior offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL draft class and should quickly work his way into the starting center conversation for whichever team drafts him.