With the 69th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Texas Longhorns linebacker Joseph Ossai. He was ranked 47th on the big board of NFL Draft guru Dane Brugler coming into the draft, so this is a great value pick in Round 3.
Ossai, who was born in Nigeria, played in 14 games (two starts) as a true freshman in 2018, finishing with 20 tackles and one sack at inside linebacker. He really came into his own in Year 2, recording 90 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2019 at the same position.
As a junior this past season, he moved to outside linebacker and was a team captain who earned First-Team All-American honors after finishing tied for the third-most tackles for loss (16) in the FBS in just nine starts. He also led Texas with 5.5 sacks to go with 55 total tackles, two pass breakups and three forced fumbles before opting out of the team’s bowl game.
The 6-4, 256-pound Ossai is projected as an edge player in the NFL who could play a similar role to what Carl Lawson did before leaving for the New York Jets this offseason. For what it’s worth, Bengals announced him as a defensive end.
Bengals draft picks 2021
- Round 1, Pick No. 5: LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase
- Round 2, Pick No. 38: Clemson OL Jackson Carman
- Round 3, Pick No. 69: Texas LB Joseph Ossai
- Round 4, Pick No. 111
- Round 5, Pick No. 149
- Round 6, Pick No. 190
- Round 6, Pick No. 202
- Round 7, Pick No. 235
The Bengals’ remaining top draft needs are:
OL, LB, TE, DT.