Name: Cedrick Lang
Height: 6’9" Weight: 255 lbs
Age: 25 Experience: 1st
Cedrick Lang is an enigma.
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound tight end was signed to a reserves/future deal by the Denver Broncos in January. He had a few offseason practices with the New York Giants last season, but wasn’t on their roster. Lang was signed by the Giants as a college free agent after using his fifth year of eligibility at UTEP.
Prior to that, as Mike Klis pointed out in his story on Lang in early May, the last time he played football was his freshman year at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, SD. Lang played offensive line for the Knights that season. The time in between his freshman year in high school and fifth year of eligibility at UTEP, he was a power forward in basketball.
Naturally, the instinct is to compare him to other tight ends who made the jump to the NFL through basketball, be it Julius Thomas, Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez. That’s premature given we don’t even know if he’s still a tight end. Yes, he’s listed as one on the Broncos’ roster, but he has the No. 70. That’s not a tight end number.
So did Lang make the switch to tackle? Or will he? It’s a mystery.
That’s not all.
It seems there’s no consensus on Lang’s height or weight, either. As Klis pointed out, the Giants listed him as 6-7, 269. His UTEP football biography had him at 6-9, 290, while his college basketball bio had him at 6-10, 255.
As I said, Lang is an enigma. But let’s dive in and see what the Broncos have with their tight end ... or tackle ... who could be 6-10, 6-9 or 6-7 and weigh either 255, 269 or 290 pounds.
If Lang is a tight end in Denver, he has great size that could be a big weapon for the offense; especially when its near the end zone. As he did in basketball, post him up on a defensive back or linebacker and toss it to him. That’s a helluva gadget for the Broncos to use in those situations. Heck, you could even do it on short yardage situations to move the chains.
Since he has experience on the offensive line, he knows the basic fundamentals when it comes to technique. Not to mention his size will be useful when it comes to blocking. A man that big has a huge wing span, and, if utilized in the right way, is another advantage he has over defenders. That’s true whether Lang stays at tight end or moves to tackle.
The lone highlight I saw of Lang came from the rivalry game with New Mexico State in September 2015. He showed good athleticism and hands on a late touchdown. But it was one highlight and it’s impossible to make a judgment on a player when that’s the case.
Still, in the time Lang was with the Giants, he made an impression. It’s hard for a man that big not to. But as this story points out, he moves the field with ease and has a great attitude.
It’s hard to know what the Broncos have in Lang when we’re not even sure what position he plays. That shows you they want to see him on the field and what he can do.
Since he’s only played one year of football since high school, to compare Lang to Thomas, Gates or Gonzalez is unfair. What those three players did was tremendous but also rare. I get the need to compare Lang so people have a reference point, but let him make his own name for himself. And this is from someone who loves comparisons, but only when they work. This seems forced to me.
If he pulls a feat as the three mentioned above did, great. But set the bar low. View Lang as a story yet to be written, where it can take any number of twists and turns before it reaches completion.
Lang on why he chose football and his approach/attitude: "It was either go overseas and try (professional) basketball out, or the opportunity to play football. I chose football, and it paid off. It's just an opportunity, man. I'm out here with a bunch of other guys competing for a job. You just have to work your butt off.”
It’s easy to see why the Broncos signed Lang to a reserves/future deal in January. He’s a huge man who also is athletic and has a great attitude. If there’s a spot for him in Denver, it’s on the practice squad.
There’s no way he’s on the 53-man roster. And the only way Lang makes the practice squad is if he’s shown flashes in organized team activities and mini camp, and carries that over to training camp.
Maybe by that point we will have solved the enigma that is Cedrick Lang.