We often hear about how strong the wide receiver, running back and cornerback classes are in the 2020 NFL Draft, but not as much is said about the other position groups. Linebacker and interior offensive line are the prime weak links and ones that many are hesitant with mentioning because of the lack of talent throughout it. But there are some players who are plug-and play-options that could become Day 1 starters.
Lloyd Cushenberry III, C, LSU
Best fits: Bears, Chiefs, Vikings
Lloyd Cushenberry III was the nucleus of the interior offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award given to the nation’s best offensive line. He is a blend of athleticism, awareness and football smarts all wrapped into one. He often mentions how he loves being at the center of it all and being in control.
Why are so many excited about his future? It's because of his ability to decipher information and always have an answer for the defensive front presented. He was hardly ever confused by defensive looks and is able to call out their plan of attack even before the play begins. That's the type of smarts every team would love to have at the epicenter of their offensive line.
Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
Best fits: Dolphins, 49ers, Bears, Ravens
Cesar Ruiz was a highly touted recruit but hardly ever mentioned among some of the other notable names in this class. Ruiz is easily the best interior blocker of this year’s group. His low build helps him a basement level center of gravity and his strength is able to easily overwhelm defenders. With experience at both center and guard, he has the flexibility to play both.
He’s often labeled as scheme proof because he can survive and thrive in either a zone-based blocking scheme or a man/gap/power one as well. It wouldn't be surprising to hear his name called on the first night of the draft.
Matt Hennessy, C, Temple
Best fits: 49ers, Seahawks, Vikings
Matt Hennessy was one of the more productive interior blockers in this class. He was seen as a stalwart for the unit and the clear communicator across the board when dealing with relaying messages to his counterparts. Hennessy still plenty of room to grow and will be a prime target for teams looking for interior help during the third or fourth round.
Hennessy’s demeanor will surely carry over into his NFL career. He’s projected best as a center and has mental fortitude and ability to step in as a team’s starter early on during his career.
Jonah Jackson, G, Ohio State
Best fits: Vikings, Dolphins, Panthers
Jonah Jackson is a rare in conference transfer and wanted to attend a program where he could experience winning while also competing against the best. As soon as he walked through the door fat Ohio State, he earned a starting position quickly.
Jackson entrenched himself as the team’s starting left guard and started in every game of the season. He has created a solid amount of buzz for himself as a fit for zone scheme teams.