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Cincinnati Bengals rookie impact at OTA

The Cincinnati Bengals begin OTAs on Tuesday. We take a look at the Bengals' drafted rookies and what we expect out of them over the next four weeks.

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Cedric Ogbuehi: It depends on who you believe -- or whatever prognosticating scenario that's out there. Rookie offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi might return for training camp... or he could end up on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start the new season (missing the first six weeks).

Either way, he's not expected to practice this week as the team conducts the first session of OTAs. That's also not entirely important at this stage. Having Ogbuehi absorb the playbook while rehabilitating his surgically repaired ACL remains his top priorities. PS, if you're Paul Alexander, you're having Ogbuehi surgically attached to Andrew Whitworth... whether the latter likes it or not.

Jake Fisher: Two questions: 1) Will second-round rookie Jake Fisher take the majority of snaps at right tackle for the injured/recovering Andre Smith? 2) Is he going to work at guard and tackle to develop as the primary backup for all spots on the offensive line, save for the center spot, similar to rookie minicamp?

Speculation: The Bengals tend to prefer veterans at this stage, largely because of their knowledge of the playbook. Eric Winston will likely open most sessions at right tackle as long as Smith is out this summer. That being said, Fisher should get a lot of looks this week.

Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah: With Tyler Eifert being out and Kroft being the highest drafted tight end this year (including the college free agents), he should see significant work this week. There's a certain blessing with Eifert not being cleared for work yet for guys like C.J. Uzomah (fifth-rounder), Matt Lengel and John Peters (UDFA), and Jake Murphy, who made an impression as one of the veterans at rookie minicamp.

Paul Dawson: With Vontaze Burfict recovering from microfracture surgery, and with conservative estimates saying that he'll probably land on PUP to start the season (though the Bengals remain hopeful that he'll be ready for training camp), it's critical that Cincinnati accelerates projected development on Dawson with as many snaps as possible.

In that same vein, A.J. Hawk will need to learn Paul Guenther's base 4-3 defense after spending six years in Dom Capers' zone-blitzing scheme with the Packers, which primarily played out of a base 3-4.

In addition to Dawson, the Bengals need to see what they have with Sean Porter (durability concerns) and Marquise Flowers.

Josh Shaw:

Shaw becomes the new Dre Kirkpatrick or Darqueze Dennard... a talented cornerback buried on a talented roster. Be a sponge, make the most of your opportunities, and good fortune will be wrapped under the Christmas tree.

Marcus Hardison: There isn't much Hardison can do right now to make a significant impression, save for having a photographic memory. There will be some non-contact work that Hardison can make an impression with, but his greatest work (leaping over the other backups) will begin this July.

Derron Smith: There's a Derron Smith v Shawn Williams element that will exist at some point. Williams, a former third-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, sees his opportunities dwindling... more so after the arrival of Smith and long-term promotion of George Iloka as a starting safety. Does that mean Smith will capture the primary backup safety spot or will he become a replacement if either Iloka or Reggie Nelson leaves during free agency? However, one noted green man once said that the future is "always in motion". There better be a competition here (do you want these guys if there's no hunger?) and if there is, it starts today.

Mario Alford: Clearly the MVP at rookie minicamp for his speed, Alford now initiates a goal to impress special teams coach Darrin Simmons as a primary returner.