Round 3: Broncos reach for Michael Ojemudia, land Lloyd Cushenberry

Michael Ojemudia at the Senior Bowl. Credit: Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports.
Michael Ojemudia at the Senior Bowl. Credit: Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports.

OK, now we’re getting a better feel for how this draft is shaping up for the Denver Broncos.

In Round 1, they knocked it out of the park with a pick of Jerry Jeudy, the No. 1 receiver in the 2020 class. He fell all the way to No. 15 even though many believed he’d be gone in the Top-10. But in Round 2, the Broncos took a second straight receiver in K.J. Hamler, which was a baffling move to say the least.

There’s no way they could take yet another receiver with their third pick, right? Right.

At No. 77, Denver selected Michael Ojemudia, a cornerback out of Iowa.¬†Ojemudia is a 6’1″ 200 pound corner who ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s got a ton of length, including very long arms, which helps him make plays in front of him. Ojemudia looks to be a solid, willing tackler as well, and his size will help him cover the bigger, “X” receivers.

In 2018 and 2019 combined, Ojemudia picked off six passes and defended another 15, which are solid numbers.

However, it’s important to point out the Broncos may have reached for Ojemudia, who had 16 cornerbacks ranked higher than him still on the board according to NFL.com and their scouting profiles. Noteworthy: He was projected to be picked in Rounds 4-5.

It must be noted that Pro Football Focus considers him a “scheme fit” because Ojemudia played mostly zone coverage in college and the Broncos will use him that way in Vic Fangio’s defense more often than not.

Then, only six picks later — as part of the NFL Draft day trade last year from the Pittsburgh Steelers — the Broncos took center Lloyd Cushenberry at No. 83.

After two straight head-scratching picks on the night, the Broncos made a great selection of the center out of LSU. Denver’s two biggest needs entering the NFL Draft were as follows: Wide receiver, cornerback and center.

In their first three picks on Friday, the Broncos satisfied all three needs. But, maybe the best pick of them all was Cushenberry, whom some wanted Denver to take at No. 46. Considering he fell all the way to 83, that’s a big win for the Broncos.

Cushenberry can hopefully start immediately as the Broncos don’t currently have a starting center. Cushenberry is a 6’3″ 312-pound beast of a center who wore No. 19 for the Tigers, which is a coveted jersey number as the player who best represents what it means to be an LSU Tiger.

He’s got a great motor, solid power, a decent amount of athletic ability to run in the power game and he knows how to work to the second level. Notably, he ran a 5.27 40-yard dash and put up 25 reps on the bench press.

Finally, the Broncos finished off their third round with a pick of defensive lineman McTelvin Agim.

Tomorrow brings the final four rounds of this year’s NFL Draft, with coverage starting at 10 a.m. MT. Denver still has a ton of picks in Nos. 118, 178, 181, 252 and 254 on Saturday.

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