Bengals: Breakout Candidates for the 2016 Season

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Jun 14, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A view of the Cincinnati Bengals as they huddle during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A view of the Cincinnati Bengals as they huddle during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (70) against the Chicago Bears in a preseason NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 21-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (70) against the Chicago Bears in a preseason NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 21-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Cedric Ogbuehi (OT)

The former Texas A&M star and first-round pick from 2015 (21st overall) has the greatest opportunity to become a breakout player in 2016. After finishing rehab from an ACL tear suffered in December 2014, Ogbuehi only managed to line up in 65 snaps across five games in his rookie season. Despite the lack of snaps, he never had a single blown block in that period. 

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Coming into the 2016 season, he will most likely line up at right tackle alongside veteran Andrew Whitworth. Andre Smith is no longer in Cincinnati after moving to the Vikings via Free Agency, opening the door for Ogbuehi to start.

Despite the plan for Ogbuehi to be the long-term replacement at left tackle for Whitworth, the veteran takes priority until he wishes to retire. Ogbuehi will have to share snaps with the Bengals second-round pick from 2015 in Jake Fisher, as he will be the long-term replacement for Smith at right tackle.

Ogbuehi has not had the best start to 2016, with an undisclosed injury keeping him from the beginning of OTAs. He did, however, return for the minicamp, and close eyes will remain on his progress leading up to the pre-season. Learning from veterans Whitworth and Smith last year will be invaluable for Ogbuehi’s development and although he has to face some tough opponents this year (Von Miller, Cameron Wake, J.J Watt), expect the 24-year-old to impress.

Next: Receiver, Quarterback, and Running Back, OH MY!

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