Cortez Broughton is a native of Warner Robins, Georgia where his first claim to fame actually involves playing on the Warner Robins All-Stars little league team that participated in the 2009 Little League World Series.
After growing up a bit more, Broughton realized that football was going to be the sport for him. As a senior art Veterans High School in his hometown, Broughton earned himself the All-County District Player of the Year Award while being designated at a two-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals.com. He eventually chose the University of Cincinnati over Middle Tennessee State, East Carolina, and North Carolina State.
As a true freshman in 2014, Broughton played in the first two games of the season before succumbing to a season-ending injury. He got right back on the horse the following year, playing in 11 total games and finishing with 26 tackles and 1,5 tackles-for-loss.
His first season as a starter came in 2016 when he collected 42 total tackles, five for a loss, 2.5 sacks, two pass breakups, and a single interception across 12 starts. That year, he earned his first all-conference selection as a member of the second team. He took a slight step back in 2017 when he saw his totals from a year ago regress a bit. He ended his junior campaign with just 34 tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, a single sack, and a fumble recovery.
Broughton’s breakout year came in his final campaign as a Bearcat. In 13 starts, the twitched-up defensive lineman finished with career-high marks across the board, including tackles (51), tackles-for-loss (17.5), and sacks (6.5). He also added five pass deflections at the line and a forced fumble. For his efforts, Broughton was named a First-Team All-AAC selection.
After being selected in the seventh round of the 2019 draft by the Chargers, Broughton only participated in a pair of games as a rookie. He was shut down for the season when he was placed on the Non-Football Injury List on November 15.
Years with team: 1
“Cortez Broughton signed a 4 year, $2,598,020 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $78,020 signing bonus, $78,020 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $649,505.” - Spotrac.com
Broughton is the perfect fit for the team’s penetrating 3-technique, regardless of being traditionally undersized at 290 pounds. He was relatively underwhelming at Cincinnati before breaking out as a senior with those 17.5 stops behind the line. A well-timed explosion off the line and a high motor is Broughton’s recipe for success. Broughton wasn’t needed much in 2019 with Mebane, Jones, Tillery, and Square playing ahead of him but he flashed enough in the preseason to warrant a spot as depth along the interior. Like Rochell, he can easily find his way into the rotation more and more as time goes on.
Broughton only played in two games during the regular season and found his season cut short due to contracting mononucleosis. His overaggressiveness - which led to him being successful in college - may come back to bite him at the professional level. There’s not much more that veteran offensive lineman love then defensive linemen who play like a chicken with their head cut off. If Broughton is able to reign in and better control his intensity on the field, he’ll take a big step forward in his development.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?
Unless there is an injury during the preseason and the Chargers are forced to keep extra bodies somewhere else, Broughton should make the final roster at the end of August as the final interior defensive linemen. Broughton will be a part of the rotation along the interior but will certainly see the least amount of snaps among the five players in that group.