Emmanuel Ogbah First Pick In Second Round

Emmanuel Ogbah didn't have to wait long Friday night as he was the first player picked on the second night of the 2016 NFL Draft. The All-America defensive end was selected with the 32nd overall pick by the Cleveland Browns.

Emmanuel Ogbah hopes his NFL career turns out as well as a former Oklahoma State player who was expected to be a first-round draft choice but slipped into the second round about 28 years ago. The 6-4, 273-pound All-America defensive end for the Cowboys this past season was selected Friday night with the first pick in the second round (32nd overall) by the Cleveland Brown.

Ogbah, a fourth-year junior from OSU who bypassed his final season at Oklahoma State to enter the NFL Draft, becomes the third Cowboys player in the last five years to be selected by the Browns (Brandon Weeden in 2012 and Justin Gilbert in 2014).

In 1988, former Cowboy Thurman Thomas was selected in the second round by the Buffalo Bills (40th overall) after many projected him to be a first-round selection. Thomas went on to have an outstanding NFL career, playing in four Super Bowls, earning NFL Most Valuable Player honors in 1991, and eventually being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

"It's a well-deserved honor and we are extremely proud," said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy of Ogbah, who becomes the 19th OSU Cowboy to be selected in the draft during the Gundy era.

"Emmanuel took care of his business here at Oklahoma State and did everything the right way. They are getting a big-time player. He is a blue-collar player who has worked extremely hard and will be a great addition to their organization. Look forward to watching him at the next level."

Ogbah, a Houston native, was one of the top pass rushers in college football last season with 13 sacks (best in the Big 12 and third nationally) and 17.5 tackles for losses. His 19 quarterback hurries this past season set a single-season OSU record, more than doubling the previous mark of eight.

Ogbah finished his Cowboys playing career fourth in school history with 40 tackles for loss and fourth with 28 sacks.

Ogbah had an outstanding junior season in 2015, earning second-team All-America honors (USA Today) and was named the Big 12 co-defensive player of the year by the league’s coaches.

Against first-team All-Big 12 offensive lineman Le’Raven Clark of Texas Tech in the Cowboys 70-53 victory last season, Ogbah was dominant with seven tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries to earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, he moved with his family to Texas when he was 9 years old. He began playing football in the seventh grade and became interested in OSU because of the success of former Cowboy All-American Russell Okung, who attended George Bush High School in Houston, the same high school as Ogbah.

"I had some of the best times of my life at Oklahoma State and I'll forever be grateful for all of the time and energy that Coach Gundy, Coach [Rob] Glass and the entire staff at OSU put into helping me become the best I could be, both as a player and as a man," Ogbah said. "I'm also thankful for all the Cowboy fans out there and the Stillwater community, who supported me from day one."

Ogbah becomes the seventh Cowboys to be picked in the first two rounds since 2009, joining the likes of Justin Gilbert (Cleveland, 2014, 8th overall), Justin Blackmon (Jacksonville, 2012, fifth), Brandon Weeden (Cleveland, 2012, 22nd), Russell Okung (Seattle, 2010, sixth), Dez Bryant (Dallas, 2010, 24th), and Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit, 2009, 20th).

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