Cedric Ogbuehi, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
The Steelers have invested a ton of resources up front and certainly have found pieces that can be a great group in the future, but left tackle is a spot that has eluded them. Ogbuehi is currently at right tackle for the Aggies but clearly has the athleticism to block on the left side. He has some work to do in terms of anchoring and staying balanced but he can slide out and protect without much issue. Ben Roethlisberger is still there and still the franchise, so keeping him upright is incredibly important.
First of all, I will agree with Smith that the Steelers need a long-term answer at the left tackle position. Kelvin Beachum is a fine stop-gap, but the Swiss Army knife could be a future solution at left guard once Ramon Foster’s contract expires. In addition, Beachum could even be a long-term option at center if the team’s brass decides to go in a different direction from Maurkice Pouncey once his rookie deal ends.
While I like Ogbuehi’s skill-set and him fitting in as a left tackle at the professional level, Smith should have done some better research on the prospect. According to John Taylor of CollegeFootballTalk, Ogbuehi said that he will return to Texas A&M for his senior campaign in 2014.
I cannot blame Ogbuehi for that choice. After spending his first three years as a right guard (23 games, 19 starts) and a right tackle (12 games, 12 starts), the Aggie offensive lineman could rapidly improve his draft stock with a solid season spent on the blind-side like Jake Matthews did this past season. While I have Ogbuehi graded out as an early second round pick right now, he could easily move into the upper-half of the first round with an impressive season on the left side in 2014.
As far as Smith’s next projection is concerned, I would love to see the Pittsburgh Steelers select the following player in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft: