Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M) poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number 21st overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted their offensive tackle for the future in Cedric Ogbuehi. Some people didn’t think he would go until Round 2, even though the Bengals have said that they were interested. Here’s a deeper look at his strengths, weaknesses, and what one could expect in his career.
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Quick feet. Able to engage and disengage blocks quite easily and smoothly, as well as push his opponent into another blocker and still maintain leverage. Quick and uses his hands quickly. Relies on technique and the ability to remain agile. He has the speed to match up extremely well against speed rushers and not lose containment. Great length. Amazing in pass protection and can shut down quick defenders. He is a natural knee bender to go along with his quick feet, which some NFL offensive tackles lack a combination of. Has shown he can read screens and continue to block down the field, which helps with his speed. He is explosive and fast at the point of attack. Can be moved along the line and is flexible. Long arms and quick hands allow him to stay nimble.
Injuries. Torn ACL and has had other injuries; an ankle injury in 2011 and an undisclosed injury in 2013. Lacks strength. Too many times he struggles with bull rushes and strong defenders. While watching tape, Ogubehi would get into position and do everything he needed to do from a coaching standpoint, but lacked the strength to sustain blocks. Sometimes plays too high and allows defenders to get around him or control him. Doesn’t always control opponents, but rather catches defenders. Needs to work on his hands and punch. While he has good footwork technique, he struggles with his hand technique.
Cedric Ogbuehi has a ton of upside, but he also has shown that he has a floor. In 2013 he was amazing, but in 2014 his production fell and he was exploited by bull rushers. Against quality opponents, Ogbuehi showed his issues with sustaining blocks and that he needed to add strength. While he didn’t fully participate in the NFL Combine, he did the bench press and put up 23 reps.
The Bengals have the luxury of being able to coach him up behind both Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith, but Ogbuehi is a huge boom-bust pick. Ogbuehi has shown that he can be a Pro Bowl offensive tackle, but he also has shown how his lack of hand technique and strength allowed him to be one of the SEC leaders in sacks allowed in 2014. If coached well and if he puts in some hard work under Whitworth, Ogbuehi could hit his ceiling. The talent is there, but there are some concerns. Time will tell whether this selection was a reach or if the Bengals were geniuses.