The NFL Draft is slated for April 23-25, providing seven rounds for the Broncos and other teams to find their stars of the future. At this point, Denver is slated to have 11 total picks, five of which will fall within the first 95 selections. In other words, John Elway will have plenty of assets to work with throughout the weekend.
What will he do with those picks? That’s anyone’s guess. But in the coming weeks, 1043TheFan.com will provide an overview of the best prospects.
Today, we continue by looking at a position where the Broncos will probably be looking to add a player in the draft – center. Last year’s starter, Connor McGovern, left via free agency, signing with the Jets. And newly acquired interior offensive lineman Graham Glasgow can play in the middle, but most people expect him to replace Ron Leary at right guard. That leaves a hodgepodge of journeymen currently vying for the job. So if John Elway wants to go in a different direction at center, here are the best options on the board:
Top Five on the Board
1. Cesar Ruiz – Most draft boards have Ruiz as the only center with a first-round grade. That’s because at Michigan, he was able to demonstrate that he has all of the skills necessary to play at the NFL level. He’s quick and strong, has really good hands, and has the football IQ to pick up stunts and blitzes. He has the chance to start for a team right out of the gate.
2. Tyler Biadasz – A year ago, Biadasz was a highly touted offensive line prospect. A down season at Wisconsin, however, has caused him to slip down most draft boards. That seems like a bit of overkill. He has all of the skills needed to be a quality center in the league. And he has a bit of a nasty streak, which isn’t a bad thing when anchoring an offensive line.
3. Lloyd Cushenberry III – At LSU, Cushenberry was able to demonstrate that he can tangle with top-flight defensive linemen on a weekly basis; that’s what playing in the SEC provides. He definitely has the strength to play the position, as well as the football smarts, but there is some concern about his attitude. Cushenberry needs a little more edge.
4. Matt Hennessy – If Hennessy slips past day two of the draft, he’ll be one of the best values on the board. At Temple, he was as consistent as an offensive lineman can be, both when the Owls ran the ball and in the passing game. He’s very athletic and could definitely move to various positions in the trenches at the next level.
5. Keith Ismael – Ismael played center at both guard positions at San Diego State, so he’s another interior offensive lineman that will give him new team flexibility. Given his level of competition on a weekly basis, there were some questions about his abilities. But a strong performance at the Senior Bowl has him inching closer to being a day-two pick.
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