As the Denver Broncos gear up for the NFL Draft later this month, common consensus in the drafnik community has the Broncos selecting an offensive lineman with the No. 28 pick—likely an offensive tackle.
It makes sense, as right tackle is the team’s most glaring need—on paper. A recent report seems to validate that assumption, as the Broncos are kicking the tires on a variety of tackle prospects and not all with a first round grade.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the Broncos are bringing in Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi for a private workout next Tuesday. Ogbuehi tore his ACL in late December, which has hurt his draft stock considerably.
All things being equal, if he were healthy, Ogbuehi would very likely hear his name called in the opening round of the Draft. But with his injury coming so late in the Aggies 2014 season, NFL teams are reticent to spend a first round pick on a player with a compromised foundation. It’s happened before, but it likely won’t happen for Ogbuehi.
Going into the 2014 season, Ogbuehi’s name was tossed around as a possibility for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but as he entered his senior season (with an insurance policy against injury and possibly financial losses, if he fell in the draft) , the All-American seemed to be going through the motions.
Leading NFL scout Dave-Te Thomas doesn’t think Ogbuehi had a “bad” senior campaign, but that he could have still found himself in the first round conversation, had he “shown a much more determined attitude.”
Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews, the most recent Texas A&M tackles to precede Ogbuehi in the Draft, were both top-10 picks. Ogbuehi was on the same trajectory, until he tanked his senior season and then got hurt.
Even still, there’s no doubting Ogbuehi’s talent. At 6-foot-5, 305 pounds, he has the frame to be light on his feet and excel in Gary Kubiak’s brand of the zone blocking scheme. When the Broncos pick in the second round (No. 59 overall), if Ogbuehi is still on the board, he presents great value. But he still will need time to rehab and recover from his ACL.
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