CINCINNATI - The Bengals' last two first-round draft choices are coming and going.
Their top pick in 2015, OT Cedric Ogbuehi, was put on the active roster for the first time Friday, while the club placed injured CB Darqueze Dennard, 2014's top pick, on the Reserved/Injured list, confirming reports that he would be out for the season.
Ogbuehi, a rookie from Texas A&M, tore his ACL in his final college game, but the Bengals weren't bothered knowing that would delay his readiness to play in 2015. Ogbuehi has been practicing since Nov. 10.
Dennard separated his shoulder in last Sunday’s loss at Arizona and will need surgery. He came off the bench in all 10 games this season and had 16 tackles and one interception with three passes defensed.
The Bengals were second-guessed for taking Ogbuehi after two tackles went ahead of him. Ogbuehi gave up seven sacks in his senior year and some experts said he didn't rate the 21st pick.
But offensive line coach Paul Alexander thought it was a good thing for the Bengals that Ogbuehi got hurt. (Older fans will remember that Anthony Munoz played only two games as a senior because of knee surgery, and look how he turned out).
"Listen, there is no way we get a chance at this guy if he isn't hurt," Alexander said. "He's a top-of-the-draft player.
"There's not many teams in the league that have the luxury of having their starting line back and can work the guy in."
At the time there was speculation Ogbuehi would miss the entire 2015 season, but he vowed to recover sooner than expected.
"I'm going to play this year," he said. "I just know I am."