The Cincinnati Bengals continue to scout this year's crop of NFL talent as the draft is closing in fast.
While wide receiver is largely viewed as the biggest position of need, defensive end is quietly a large need as well, despite being a position of strength. There's no debating Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson form one of the NFL's better pass-rushing tandems, but after Wallace Gilberry left this offseason, there's virtually no depth at this spot.
Will Clarke and Margus Hunt have shown nothing to suggest they'll be even serviceable backups, so even one injury at this position could quickly make it a weakness for Cincinnati. That's why some believe Cincy will target a defensive end in Round 1.
One pass-rusher getting first-round consideration is Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, and he's set to meet with the Bengals in addition to a host of teams picking late in Round 1 or early in Round 2.
Somewhere in that 18-40 range is where Ogbah is expected to come off the board. Between NFL.com's six mock drafters and CBS Sports' five, Ogbah was a first-round pick in four mocks, and all four were to either Arizona or Carolina at the very end of Round 1.
It's hard to see Ogbah falling all the way to Cincinnati in Round 2 at pick 55, but it's not out of the question for the talented but raw pass-rusher. The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year this past season, Ogbah led the conference in sacks (13) and tackles for loss (17.5) to go with 19 quarterback hurries.
The 6'4", 273-pound junior finished his career with 28 sacks and is easily one of the best pass-rushers in this draft. The problem is his technique needs work and he played in a conference full of pass-heavy offenses, giving him lots of chances to pick up sacks.
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein offered the following on Ogbah:
SOURCES TELL US "He's stiff and upright so he has no counters as a rusher and then he doesn't even play hard all the time. If you are going to be the hulk, then play hard all the time." -- NFC area scout
NFL COMPARISON Charles Johnson
BOTTOM LINE Upon first glance, Ogbah appears unimpressive because he doesn't play with the quickness or athleticism expected of productive pass rushers, but eventually, his translatable qualities avail themselves. Ogbah's power will serve him well against the run, but he will have to become more skilled as a pass rusher. He can play 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end, and he might have value inside in subpackages.
Ogbah would probably be a reach for the Bengals at 24, but a very nice pickup if they land him in Round 2.