Latest On Broncos’ Center Competition

The cap-strapped Broncos saw one of last year’s top offensive performers, center Lloyd Cushenberry, sign with the Titans in free agency, leaving Denver with a major question mark at the pivot as it ushers in yet another new era at quarterback. 2022 fifth-rounder Luke Wattenberg will certainly have a chance to become the club’s starting center, but as Ryan McFadden of the Denver Post writes, the Broncos are also high on 2023 seventh-round selection Alex Forsyth.

McFadden says that the team views Forsyth as a potential starting-caliber center, which jibes with the comments that GM George Paton made on the matter earlier this year. Forsyth’s candidacy is buttressed by the fact that he served as the snapper for quarterback Bo Nix, the No. 12 overall selection in this year’s draft, when the two were at Oregon in 2022.

Wattenberg, meanwhile, started 16 games at center while in college, but he has played sparingly in his two years in the professional ranks, with most of his reps coming at the guard positions. And though his 129 total snaps certainly qualify as a small sample size, he has not played particularly well in that limited action.

The Broncos did sign Sam Mustipher to a one-year contract in April, and he has the experience that Forsyth and Wattenberg lack, having played 52 games (42 starts) in the NFL. He served as the Bears’ full-time pivot from 2021-22, but the fact that he was non-tendered by Chicago last year and had to settle for a one-year pact with the Ravens — and the fact that he did not even crack Baltimore’s initial 53-man roster — underscores his middling performance in the Windy City. The soon-to-be 28-year-old blocker did start two games for the Ravens last season in relief of the injured Tyler Linderbaum, and he performed reasonably well as a stopgap.

As McFadden notes in a separate piece, Wattenberg was working with the first-team offense in OTAs earlier this week, while Forsyth worked with the second unit. Still, the center competition in Denver appears to be wide open, despite the fact that Forsyth did not see any action at all in his rookie campaign. Sooner rather than later, Nix will take the reins at quarterback, and there is a good chance he will have a familiar face snapping him the ball.

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