Earlier this week, the Jets poached veteran offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi from the Texans’ practice squad. Today, we break down Ogbuehi in detail.
The 30-year old Ogbuehi is listed at 6’5” and 306 pounds and was the 21st overall pick in the 2015 draft. He is widely regarded as a bust but has started 30 games in his career, 25 of which were in 2016 and 2017.
Ogbuehi was a four-star recruit, who headed to Texas A&M and redshirted his first season in 2010. In 2011, he won a starting role, but missed time due to injury and ended up limited to six starts. He started every game in 2012 and 11 more in 2013 before being named as a first-team all-American after the 2014 season.
Unfortunately, his season ended with a serious knee injury in the Aggies’ bowl game, which also disrupted his pre-draft preparation. Despite this, the Bengals took him with the 21st overall pick.
In his rookie season, Ogbuehi only saw action in the last five games but then beat out Jake Fisher and Eric Winston for a starting role and started 25 games over the next two seasons. Head coach Marvin Lewis was critical of Ogbuehi though, saying his failure to develop into a consistent player had “held them back”.
Having decided they weren’t going to exercise his fifth year option, the Bengals only made Ogbuehi active twice in 2018 and he signed a minimum salary deal with the Jaguars in 2019.
After a year in Jacksonville where he played 14 games but didn’t make any starts, he moved onto Seattle. He started four games for them in 2020 due to injuries and another one in 2021 but was then released in the middle of the season. He spent a few weeks on the Ravens roster and two days on the Titans’ practice squad before the end of the season.
Ogbuehi signed with Houston in March but was released in final cuts and placed on their practice squad. The Jets, having poached him, are required by rule to keep him on their active roster for at least three weeks.
Now let’s take a look at what Ogbuehi brings to the table, divided into categories.
Ogbuehi has excellent length and was considered a “gifted athlete” as a draft prospect, although he couldn’t do any pre-draft workouts due to injury. He was projected to run under five seconds in the 40-yard dash.
His functional strength was a concern as he entered the NFL. He did perform the bench press at the scouting combine, managing 23 reps.
Ogbuehi played left tackle from 2017 to 2019 but has otherwise always played right tackle during his NFL career. He did also start for a year at guard when he was in college.
In Ogbuehi’s two years as a full-time starter, he surrendered 17 sacks in 25 starts and had some rough moments. As a spot starter, his pressure rates actually haven’t been that bad.
His inability to anchor against a bull rush was a concern when he entered the league and this has been a constant issue. Even when he doesn’t give up pressure, he is often moved off his spot and rarely manages to re-anchor cleanly.
Ogbuehi has good feet in pass protection but can be susceptible to pressure off the edge at times.
Ogbuehi has actually graded out quite well as a run blocker throughout his career, other than in his first season as a starter. While he may make technical or mental errors from time to time, his athleticism is an asset in the running game.
He can get out to the second level and make blocks on the move and will occasionally finish his blocks with aggression.
Ogbuehi’s lack of strength can sometimes be an issue at the point of attack, though, and he can lose his balance at times.
Ogbuehi’s teams haven’t typically had much sense in converting from the goal line in recent seasons.
In his first year as a starter, the Bengals had seven rushing touchdowns from the one or two-yard line, but in his second season, they only had one - in a game where he wasn’t in the lineup. No short touchdown runs have been scored in any of his starts or games where he saw extensive action on offense since that time, either.
Here’s a play where he got beaten at the point of attack and this could have led to the run being blown up if he didn’t commit - and get away with - a blatant hold.
Ogbuehi certainly has the athleticism to get out in front of a screen pass, but he can be inconsistent in terms of locking onto blocks in space. He did a good job of hustling to make a second block on this play, though.
Ogbuehi came into the league as someone who needed to refine his technique, but his inconsistency in this area is one of the main reasons he hasn’t been as successful as hoped.
When blocking against speed rushers, he can be a step slow to drop back into his stance or can overset and make himself susceptible to an inside move. The latter is also an issue in the running game at times. He can also be inconsistent with his hands. Here, he makes it too easy for the defensive end to chop down and get separation.
His struggles against bull rushers are not just to do with his play strength. He doesn’t do a good enough job of preventing the defensive end from getting his hands inside and then once he is moved off his spot, it becomes easy to disengage.
Ogbuehi’s on-field discipline hasn’t been that bad. He has 10 penalties in his career with four false starts, five holding penalties and one illegal formation penalty.
He frustrated fans on this penalty though, as it negated an easy touchdown despite having no direct impact on the play.
Ogbuehi’s only special teams role at the NFL level has been as a blocker on the field goal kicking unit. He doesn’t have any penalties or mistakes in this role.
In addition to his five pre-snap penalties, Ogbuehi can make mental errors from time to time. He’s not always consistent about finding a block in space and on this particular play he is too indecisive.
Ogbuehi has had mixed results in terms of his ability to pick up stunts, but on this play he reacts too late to the T/E stunt and can’t prevent the tackle getting to the quarterback.
Ogbuehi is not known for having a killer instinct or a nasty streak, although his teammates were praising his determination and desire to improve when he was in Cincinnati. He’s also had to bounce back from some injuries and the criticism he’s seen as a result of not living up to his draft position.
He’s been described as a man of few words, but will play with good effort and work hard in the weight room.
Ogbuehi entered the league with a torn ACL and has had a few injuries at the NFL level. He tore his rotator cuff at the end of the 2016 season and spent four weeks on injured reserve with a bicep injury last season. He also had a thigh injury last season and an ankle injury in college.
Ogbuehi’s athletic ability makes him a good fit for the Jets’ scheme. He essentially replaced George Fant in Seattle, so it makes sense that he could be capable of filling his role.
During his NFL career, Ogbuehi has been a teammate of current Jets Carl Lawson, Duane Brown, DJ Reed and Quincy Williams.
The Jets are obviously desperate for short term help at the tackle position and, at this stage of the season, they can’t be too picky. Ogbuehi hasn’t been a first-choice starter for some time but he’s someone who has filled in temporarily in the past and held his own. Seattle were actually 5-0 with him in the starting lineup in 2020 and 2021.
He does have the athletic ability to be a good fit in the running game, but pass protection is going to be the major concern on Sunday, especially with Zach Wilson making his return from injury.
In an ideal world the Jets will get Brown back in week five and then he and Max Mitchell can hold the fort until Fant returns. For this weekend, however, they need someone to fill in. It may be that Conor McDermott gets that assignment despite his struggles off the bench on Sunday but the way things have gone, Ogbuehi will need to stay ready because the Jets might need him to play at some point over the next three weeks.