Bengals' top pick Ogbuehi hopes to make name for himself
CINCINNATI (AP) First things first: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis wants to clarify something with his top draft pick, Cedric Ogbuehi.
''How do you pronounce your name?'' Lewis said after stumbling on it while introducing Ogbuehi to reporters in Cincinnati on Friday.
''O-BWAY-hee,'' the offensive lineman said with a smile.
''I did better last night,'' Lewis replied.
The Bengals hope fans get to know the 21st overall pick from Texas A&M quite well.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Ogbuehi, who is working his way back from knee surgery to repair a torn right ACL he suffered in the Liberty Bowl, believes he's in the right place to make a name for himself. He's especially looking forward to working with offensive line coach Paul Alexander, who's developed accomplished Cincinnati linemen such as 10-year veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth.
''I'm hoping to become that next guy,'' Ogbuehi said after posing for photos with Bengals jerseys, one adorned with the No. 1 - signifying his draft status - and the other bearing No. 70, what he'll wear once he hits the field. ''I know what he's done. I want to become the next great player with coach Alexander.''
Alexander got another new player to coach on Friday night. The Bengals took Oregon offensive tackle Jake Fisher with the 53rd overall selection on Friday night after being shut out of highly regarded defensive tackles.
''He was the best player we had ranked, and we couldn't go by him,'' said Lewis, revealing that Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips - who was picked by Miami one slot before the Bengals - and Fisher were the team's two highest-ranked players at the time.
The 6-foot-6, 306-pound Fisher played in 50 games and started 35 for the Ducks. He was a first-team All-Pac 12 pick in 2014, starting 13 games at left tackle after moving over from right tackle, where he also made 11 starts in 2013.
Fisher said he was ''a little surprised'' to be picked by Cincinnati.
''When they took (Ogbuehi), I didn't totally count it out,'' he said.
Cincinnati took a tight end and a linebacker in the third round.
Facing questions at tight end, the Bengals chose Rutgers' Tyler Kroft, a first team all-conference player in 2013 after finishing with 43 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior slipped to 24 receptions in 2014 before suffering a sprained ankle in the Quick Lane Bowl against North Carolina on December 26. He later aggravated the injury, keeping him out of the NFL combine.
Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes said the experience may have helped Kroft in the draft.
''He had to put his hand in the dirt, and that helped in evaluating him,'' Hayes said.
The team's most talented tight end before the draft, Tyler Eifert, missed all but the first game of the 2014 season with a dislocated elbow. Another tight end, Jermaine Gresham, is a free agent.
Cincinnati used its second pick of the third round (99th overall) to pick Texas Christian inside linebacker Paul Dawson, who led the Horned Frogs with 136 tackles, including 20 for losses, in 2014. He also had four interceptions.
The 6-foot, 235-pound Dawson was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Big 12.
The Bengals had the extra third-round pick for losing defensive end Michael Johnson to free agency after the 2013 season. Johnson has since returned to Cincinnati.
Ogbuehi, a Texas native and Cowboys fan, already has a model in Tyron Smith, Dallas's All-Pro left tackle. He might've wanted to wear Smith's No. 77, but that's already taken by Whitworth.
''He's the kind of guy I want to resemble,'' Ogbuehi said about Smith, quickly adding, ''The same with Whitworth.''
His first day with Cincinnati capped what Ogbuehi called a ''crazy'' 19 hours. As he spoke with reporters, his parents Kelly and Chris sat in the audience.
Ogbuehi said his parents wanted him to take the ''medical route'' when he was growing up.
''I knew I wasn't going to do that,'' he said. ''They're happy now.''
The Bengals still need a defensive tackle. They finished last in the league in sacks, and tackle Geno Smith struggled in his first season back from ACL surgery. They'd also like to add to their depth at receiver.
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