Graham Glasgow’s entire football career has been filled with ups and downs.

From fighting for a spot on his college team, to being named a starter only to be demoted, he has gone through it all.

After Lloyd Cushenberry suffered a groin injury in London, Glasgow was thrust into the center spot, which helped lead the team to a much-needed victory. With Cushenberry now on the IR, Glasgow has an opportunity to prove he is the right option to start at center permanently.

Becoming a Versatile Football Player

Glasgow was born in DeKalb, Illinois. 

He spent his high school years at Marmion Academy and played offensive tackle for their football team. 

After graduation, Glasgow attended the University of Michigan. He competed for a spot on their team as a walk-on in 2011. However, after much hard work, he earned a scholarship in the spring practice portion of the 2013 season. 

Glasgow appeared in 42 games and had 37 starts. He was a versatile player with 22 starts at center and at the guard position. However, he played entirely as a center in his final season as a Wolverine, allowing ten pressures and zero sacks.

Following the 2015 season, Glasgow was named the team’s Hugh R. Rader Memorial Award recipient as the top offensive lineman. He also earned honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference accolades from both the coaches and media.

Glasgow finished his college career as a four-year letterman and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in his last three seasons. 

Entering the NFL

Before the 2016 NFL Draft, Glasgow was viewed as a late day-two/early day-three pick. He ultimately was drafted in the third round with the 95th overall pick by the Detroit Lions. 

Glasgow had an underwhelming rookie season, though he showed flashes of talent. His first NFL start was as a left guard in Week 6, but he played the final three weeks as the starting center.

He finished the season having allowed 30 total pressures and three sacks. 

In his sophomore season, Glasgow started all 16 games as both a guard and center. His stats saw a slight uptick as he only allowed 26 pressures. 

The 2018 season saw Glasgow settle in as Detroit’s starting center in all 16 games. It was his best career year yet, as he only allowed one sack and 15 total pressures.

2019 was his final season with the Lions. He reverted back to playing both guard and center. 

Joining the Denver Broncos

In 2020, the Denver Broncos desperately needed some offensive line help. They signed Glasglow to a four-year, $44-million contract.

Glasgow made a pivot as he was thrust into the right guard spot. He only surrendered two sacks and allowed 15 pressures. He was forced to miss three games that season while on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Expectations were high for Glasgow coming into 2021. He again started the first seven weeks at right guard. Although, a broken ankle in Week 9 ended his season.

After the season, Glasgow agreed to a restructured deal that kept him in Denver. 

Going into this year, Glasgow had lost his starting right guard position to Quinn Meinerz. In the preseason, there was talk about Glasgow starting at center, but he lost out to Lloyd Cushenberry.

Though he started the season as a backup, Glasgow became a starter again in Week 2 when Meinerz suffered a hamstring injury. 

Still, Glasgow’s play as a guard was criticized through the first seven weeks of the season. 

However, Cushenberry suffered a groin injury right before the end of the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8, resulting in Glasgow being moved to the center position in his absence.

The Broncos were able to make a comeback and win the game. 

Statistically, the offense was much better with Glasgow at center. Though it’s a small sample size, they had averaged 7.7 yards per pass compared to the previous 5.8 and 3.7 yards per carry compared to 3.5 without him.

The Denver Broncos announced this week that Cushenberry has officially been placed on the IR, meaning he’s out a minimum of four weeks. They also announced that Glasgow would continue to start at center. 

If the Broncos continue to win with Glasgow, there’s no reason to think this change will not become permanent for the year. 

Glasgow will have a tremendous opportunity to cement himself on Sunday when the Broncos visit the Tennessee Titans at 11:00 a.m. MST.