NAME: Lloyd Cushenberry III
POSITION: Interior Offensive Line
WEIGHT: 312 pounds
Protecting star quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be an underrated priority throughout his career. Having his ability to elude pressure and extend plays is an added bonus. However, there will be some tough decisions to make this offseason. One move in particular, could involve releasing guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to save money. If that were to happen, one plausible option to replace him would be to draft an interior offensive lineman early. Today, we will look into our first of the plethora of options at interior offensive line in LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry III.
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On certain reps, it looks like Cushenberry III could not move anymore smooth with his feet. He does a nice job of staying low when getting out of his stance at the line of scrimmage. His ability to slide and frame up opposing defenders is what helps to make him difficult to beat. Whether it is in one on one reps, or in double teams, Cushenberry III does a splendid job of forcing pass rushers to the outside.
Cushenberry III does have the tendency to be too top heavy at times, and slips off blocks. Hooking inside pass rushers can be a struggle too. He works best when getting punches or jabs in the middle of the frame against opponents. Furthermore, Cushenberry III does a fair job of not getting too grabby.
Cushenberry III is strong in his hips and legs to quickly throw a defensive lineman aside and move to the second level. His movement skills are impressive. For example, he makes it look so easy, like a dancing bear in space. His feet shuffle and slide at a calm pace. However, there can be occasional reps where Cushenberry III will stop moving his feet. As a result, he is strictly using his upper half. The strength is definitely there to pull this off though. Finally, he does a nice job in getting into position to take on incoming linebackers or blitzers.
This attribute is special for Cushenberry III. Meaning, not many interior offensive linemen, especially centers, have this amount of length at their disposal. This allows him more power at the point of attack. To boot, Cushenberry III has a natural feel for positioning and leverage. He will not get out of control as a mauler. Rather, the ability to quickly reset shows up more. Cushenberry III will stick to his punching technique. But if need be, he will not waste any time in drilling defenders down into the ground.
With bookend offensive tackles, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, Cushenberry III would mesh well as a stonewall protector. His discipline, combined with the body control and quickness, serve him as a highly intelligent interior offensive lineman. Footwork will be a slight development. Hand usage will need some patch work as well. However, Cushenberry III could quickly step into a starting role. And he can do this at a cheaper price for Kansas City than Duvernay-Tardif would.
Be on the lookout for more Chiefs offseason coverage. We will continue to roll out more prospect profiles in the leadup to April’s draft. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.