Finding Broncos: 4 Potential Center Prospects

After losing Lloyd Cushenberry III in free agency, the Denver Broncos are searching for answers at the center position. Despite investing a pair of draft picks in Luke Wattenburg and Alex Forsyth over the past couple of seasons, there is still a major hole along the interior of the offensive line.

Forsyth has starting potential, but Denver could look to add another player for competition and depth purposes. Let’s continue examining the interior O-line pool in this year’s draft.

Oct 7, 2023; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks offensive linemen Beaux Limmer (55)

Oct 7, 2023; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks offensive linemen Beaux Limmer (55) / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Boasting a high football IQ and years of starting experience at guard and center in the SEC, Limmer is a high-quality pivot man with starting capability at the NFL level. He has good posture and form as a pass protector with a firm anchor, and he does a nice job of staying square against defenders coming on twists and stunts.

Limmer has a lot of power in his lower half as a drive blocker and lands on defenders at the second level with violence and determination to do damage.

Limmer has a thin frame and needs to add mass, and a lack of length could be his downfall. He ducks his head into contact and plays with too much lean in his upper body, causing him to get out of control as a mover.

Limmer hands need to become quicker and more accurate in his punch, and he lacks lateral agility in short area changes of direction against faster pass rushers.

My Grade: Round 5

Erick Trickel’s Big Board Position: No. 171

Oct 15, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Penn State Nittany Lions offensive lineman Hunter Nourzad

Oct 15, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions offensive lineman Hunter Nourzad / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A thick and burly center prospect, Nourzad is a tremendous pass protector with a great anchor. He sets his base wide on contact, sinks his hips, and flashes an insane amount of upper body strength to stop pass rushers in their tracks.

Nourzad’s movement skills are top-notch and he is versatile enough to play in any blocking scheme. Strength and power are a big plus on his tape, as are his fast and accurate hands.

Nourzad has lateral agility issues that hamper his ability to slide his protection against players with quick first steps. His eyes are slow at times, leaving him looking lost against twists and stunts while allowing massive gaps for rushers to create pressure.

Nourzad has great power as a blocker, but he needs to learn a better feel for when to latch on to opponents rather than blast them and allow separation. 

My Grade: Round 5

Trickel’s Big Board Position: No. 129

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Trente Jones (53) against

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Trente Jones (53) against / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A loose and fluid mover, Jones is a raw ball of clay as a prospect. His power profile is impressive, he has active hands to fight counter moves, and his anchor is driven through his strong core.

As a run blocker, Jones shows good hand placement and a strong leg drive to move opponents, especially on combination blocks. He has enough movement ability to last as a zone-blocking tackle prospect, and he does well to hit his landmarks when climbing to the next level.

Jones only started 13 total games in his collegiate career, making him a very inexperienced player. The flashes are strong but inconsistent. He needs more technical refinement and play recognition to succeed on the outside, and a move to guard would need to be met with more mass to survive at the next level.

Jones can get too impatient and put himself out of position, opening up space for players to cross his face and attack the quarterback. 

My Grade: Round 7

Trickel’s Big Board Position: No. 181

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Trevor Keegan (77) against the

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Trevor Keegan (77) against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A three-year starter with a prototypical build, Keegan is a powerful and experienced run blocker. He does a tremendous job working combination blocks on the interior, and he can strike and climb to the next level to dig out linebackers.

Keegan’s hands are active and powerful and he has immense core strength to work through powerful defenders who get under his pads. Keegan grinds players through the whistle and is always looking for work.

Natural athleticism is a problem for Keegan as his foot quickness and lateral agility are severely lacking. He relies on power too often and can get caught reaching for defenders, and he spends too much time on the ground.

Keegan has good length for the position, but he doesn’t use it properly and opts to play chest-to-chest with defenders. 

My Grade: Round 7

Trickel’s Big Board Position: No. 212

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