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Tyler Eifert #80 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches the ball for a touchdown over Kevin Johnson #9 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 17, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Cincinnati Bengals select Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert with 21st pick in 2013 NFL Draft

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CINCINNATI - The Bengals selected a tight end in the first round of the NFL draft for the second time in four years, getting Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert with the 21st overall pick on Thursday.

Before the draft, Eifert wrote commented on his preparation for the draft via Twitter.

"Just finished a pre draft round of golf. I guess the next step is to sit and wait," the 6-foot-6, 251-pound playmaker wrote. "Thank you everyone for all the support!"

Eifert, who received an 83.3 draft grade by NFL.com , led Notre Dame in receiving in 2012 with a team-best 50 catches for 685 yards and four touchdowns despite playing with a freshman quarterback.

His performance earned him the Mackey Award, which is awarded to the nation'’s top tight end. Eifert decided to skip his final season of eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

Eifert joins Jermaine Gresham as first-round tight ends in an offense that will be the biggest focus in Cincinnati's attempt to go deeper into the playoffs. Gresham also was the 21st overall pick in 2010.

The Bengals have reached the playoffs each of the last two seasons as a wild card, losing to Houston in the first round both times.

Mike Mayock with the NFL Network things Eiftert could play a major role in helping the Bengals get over their playoff hump.

"The Andy Dalton thing is critical. Remember, they've lost two years in a row to Houston in the wild card," said Mayock. "How do you get over that hump? You need another playmaker, and Dalton has to take another step up."

You can welcome Tyler to the Queen City with a tweet. His Twitter handle is @EiferTy80.

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