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.
In 2020, he saw game action in nine contests, finishing with four total tackles and a batted-down pass at the line of scrimmage.
Years with team: 2
“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. In 2021, Broughton will earn a base salary of $850,000, while carrying a cap hit of $869,505 and a dead cap value of $39,010.” - Spotrac.com
Broughton fit the mold for a Gus Bradley three-technique as an aggressive, penetrating lineman who won with his athleticism and explosiveness in college. His fit is less ideal in the new 3-4 front as an undersized defensive tackle, but the ability to make a mess at or around the line of scrimmage is still valuable in this league.
After two seasons of limited to no snaps with the active roster, Broughton has been an afterthought among the interior defenders. Now that the defense is utilizing a 3-4 front, his skillset is even less important for the team. After the team added Christian Covington as a free agent, his path to playing is just that much more convoluted.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2021?
Broughton will be a fringe roster player due to the amount of bodies at the position. Since the base front will feature three interior players, the team will need more bodies on the active roster for rotational purposes. After the initial starting three, Covington will take a spot and then I predict the staff to keep at least two more bodies. At that point, Broughton will compete with Breiden Fehoko, T.J. Smith, and the new UDFAs for the team’s final few spots.