Former A&M offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi was taken 21st overall in the first round of the NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday.
Cincinnati’s offensive line coach Paul Alexander said he was excited to be able to pick up Ogbuehi as the 21st pick.
“I frickin’ love him,” said coach Alexander. “Let me tell you, there’s no way we have a chance at this guy if he doesn’t get hurt. He’s a top-of-the-draft player. There’s no question that this guy has rare feet and athleticism that you see in the very best offensive linemen in the league.”
Coach Alexander also went on to refer to Ogbuehi as “easily” the best pass protector in the draft.
Ogbuehi played four years for the Aggies and after injuring his ACL in the Liberty Bowl, Ogbuehi was projected to go in the draft as a late first or second round pick. With his selection, A&M’s football program has now had a player drafted in the first round for five straight years, which has never happened before in its history.
Ogbuehi was confident that he would be selected early in the draft.
“I knew for a fact I’d be a first-round pick, I knew that I was going to cover well, and it all fell in place,” Ogbuehi said.
Ogbuehi played for Allen High School, where he received All-State accolades for 2 seasons. In his freshman year with the Aggies, he saw action in 10 games and started six. Ogbuehi started every game for A&M in his sophomore and senior seasons. As a junior, Ogbuehi started 11 games and missed two due to injury. As a senior at A&M, Ogbuehi was named First Team All-SEC and First Team All-America from the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Ogbuehi will join a Bengals team that has made the playoffs in each of the last four years and in five of the last six. He will now be reunited with former teammate Sean Porter who played with the Aggies from 2009-2012.
“I’m really excited. It helps a lot that Sean plays there, and we were teammates. I’m ready to get out there,” said Ogbuehi.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis weighed in on the he and the team’s decision to use their first round draft pick on Ogbuehi.
“We are very pleased to be able to draft Cedric Ogbuehi,” Coach Lewis said. “He has great upside in his play. Obviously we’ve got to get him healthy from the (knee) injury, but we really felt was a guy with tremendous potential and a tremendous future, and an opportunity to be very, very good,” said Lewis. “Being there at Texas A&M, he’s played both sides of the line — both tackles and guard — so there’s a lot of flexibility in his play in the past. He’s just a huge man, with big, long length and a huge (wing) span. You watch how he protects all the time, and he’s violent as a run-blocker. So we’re very, very pleased that he was there when we picked.”
The Cleveland Browns were rumored to be throwing around the idea of trading up to try and acquire Marcus Mariota, but instead, they ended up selecting nose tackle Danny Shelton out of Washington at No. 12 and using their 19th pick on center Cameron Erving out of Florida State. This could be good news for Johnny Manziel assuming the Browns don’t make any moves this weekend.
Other Aggies that could potentially be drafted are Jarvis Harrison, Trey Williams and Josh Lambo.