The 2020 NFL Draft is only a few weeks away, and while teams are still working on their draft boards, many already have players that they covet in their draft spots. Including one wide receiver, the Rams have been talking to non-stop. The Los Angeles Rams are no different as there is one name that is consistently popping up in mock drafts with the Rams in the 2nd round. The player is Lloyd Cushenberry, who was the starting center for the National Champion LSU Tigers. Why would the Rams want Cushenberry? We examine the strengths and weaknesses of Cushenberry and, ultimately, why the Rams should target him in the draft.
Strengths of Lloyd Cushenberry
Lloyd Cushenberry was a two-year starter for the LSU Tigers with his best season coming in 2019. He was the starting center for the LSU Tigers, who ran a pro-style offense, which makes Cushenberry NFL ready. The greatest strength of Cushenberry is his technique. Cushenberry is also one of the better linemen in the NFL draft with gaining leverage over the defender, something the Rams are in desperate need of along their offensive line. Between his pass blocking and run blocking, his run blocking is also some of the best in this year’s class, which might ultimately move him to the guard position in the pros. With Todd Gurley no longer with the team, Rams RB Darrell Henderson Jr is ready to prove he is one of the best and has already responded to criticism of being featured back.
Weaknesses of Lloyd Cushenberry
Although his run blocking is at an elite level, his pass blocking needs to be refined. Cushenberry struggles in space, which is something you cannot do at the NFL level, especially in the NFC West, where defensive lines are among the best. The agility and lateral quickness for Cushenberry are also of concern. However, given that he is an interior lineman, those weaknesses could be refined in the NFL rather quickly. It’s hard to find the “perfect” OL in the draft, but Cushenberry’s strengths outway his weaknesses.
Why the Rams Need Lloyd Cushenberry
What makes Cushenberry coveted in this year’s draft is his run blocking ability, something the Rams need to address. In 2018 the Los Angeles Rams ranked 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards per game with 139.4 yards. However, that number decreased significantly in 2019, dropping over 45 yards per game to 93.69, which was the 7th fewest in the NFL. Without a running game, the pressure was also on Jared Goff, who struggled last season statistically, putting up his worst numbers in three seasons as a full-time starter. Cushenberry would open up the holes for the Rams running back, which would also alleviate some of the pressure Goff saw lass season. The pick of Cushenberry would be a great pick to address one of the more significant weaknesses offensively for the Rams. There are plenty of solid OL the Rams could draft in the second draft as Cushenberry should be high on their list.