It has been almost three weeks since the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft was completed. Rookie minicamps have been completed, giving us a first look at the newest NFL players. With the first round picks seeing the field for the first time, who are they expected to replace on their respective rosters?
With the 21st overall selection, the Cincinnati Bengals took Cedric Ogbuehi, an offensive tackle out of Texas A&M.
During his time at College Station, Ogbuehi spent time at guard, right tackle and left tackle for the offensive line factory that the Aggies have become over the past few years, producing three straight first round left tackles.
Hyped as a potential top 10 selection during the college season, he tore his ACL in the Liberty Bowl, causing his draft stock to take a hit.
Due to this injury, Ogbuehi won’t see the field as a rookie, spending his time rehabbing his knee and adjusting to NFL life. This isn’t a problem for Cincinnati, as they have two proven starters at tackle.
At the end of the 2015 season, both of these offensive tackles––Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith––will become free agents, opening a starting job for Ogbuehi.
Given Whitworth’s advanced age––34 at the end of the season––it is most likely that Ogbuehi will end up with Whitworth’s job for the 2016 season.
Whitworth has been one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL over the past few seasons. Last season, he allowed zero sacks and only one quarterback hit on 573 pass blocking snaps, which are ridiculous numbers. Most offensive lineman would be happy with these numbers for a single game.
It may seem crazy to let a lineman like Whitworth walk in free agency, but the NFL is a business and you never know when his play could drop off given his age.
Given that the Bengals selected another offensive tackle in the second round––Jake Fisher––Andre Smith is likely on his way out of the door as well. Ogbuehi will have the upper hand at left tackle due to his draft position in comparison to Fisher.
This draft pick was all about the future for Cincinnati. Ogbuehi isn’t going to see the field as a rookie, but he should be the Bengals starting left tackle next season.