New OT Cedric Ogbuehi believes Dolphins have ‘something special going’

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — New Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi hasn’t been counted on as a consistent starter for years since his early time with the Cincinnati Bengals after they took him in the first round of the 2015 draft.

But after starting five games for the New York Jets in 2022, the most he has had in a season since 2017, Ogbuehi can look to build on that in a similar offensive system under Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel.

With Miami operating under the expectation that Austin Jackson will start at right tackle, he and Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead saw their share of injuries last season. While important to solidify depth at tackle, the Dolphins didn’t make a splash by signing Ogbuehi and fellow former first-rounder Isaiah Wynn, but the two will have opportunities to revitalize their careers in potential spot duty.

“Come in every day, work hard, control what you can control and let pieces fall in place,” Ogbuehi said as the team concluded organized team activities this past week ahead of this week’s mandatory minicamp. “They got something special going on here, and they have the pieces. I’m just here to add on to that and to go as far as we can.”

While versatile entering his ninth professional season out of Texas A&M, Ogbuehi calls right tackle his home base.

“I’ve been playing that for most my career, even college,” he said. “Something I like more.”

Ogbuehi’s last season with the Jets and their former offensive coordinator Mike LaFleure presents him with familiarity with McDaniel’s scheme and outside-zone run blocking.

“It’s literally the same kind of scheme, obviously different nuances, but it’s prepared me a lot,” Ogbuehi said. “I’ve been helping out some of the guys, too, because it’s new to some of them so it helped a lot.

“It’s all about playing fast, running, playing in space. Got to be in good shape, for one, but it’s good for my skill set.”

He said of his strengths in his game: “I’ve seen it all, done it all — pass protection, run blocking, screens, out in space. I think kind of just a combination of everything.”

Ogbuehi had become an NFL journeyman after he didn’t stick with the Bengals after his rookie contract. Before landing with the Jets, he spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens.

The Jets re-signed him in April, but they then released him May 11, opening up his May 15 signing with Miami.

“It’s a business,” he said of New York’s release. “They have a lot of tackles there, and they drafted a guy, too. So I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t even there. I was in Dallas the whole time, so I wasn’t even there. But I wasn’t surprised.”

Tyler Kroft outlook

Another member of the Bengals’ 2015 class that found himself in Miami as a May signing, tight end Tyler Kroft will look to contribute to a Dolphins tight ends room that lost Mike Gesicki in free agency.

Kroft said he and his agent, Mike McCartney, decided they would wait out the late April draft if he didn’t find a home in the first week of free agency. Miami appeared to present an opportunity to play, and he too has played in similar offenses.

“Familiarity with the system, too, being with the Jets two years ago, and the 49ers last year,” Kroft said, “it seemed like it would be a nice smooth transition into the offense.”

Kroft is 6 foot 6, 252 pounds. He has 52 career starts in 92 games played, compiling 105 receptions for 1,081 yards and 13 touchdowns. After playing his first four seasons in Cincinnati, he spent two years with the Buffalo Bills before going to the Jets in 2021 and San Francisco for 2022.

Despite only making four catches with the 49ers last year, Kroft feels he can still make an impact in the passing game. He also has been taking Dolphins rookie sixth-round pick Elijah Higgins, a converted college wide receiver, under his wing.

“I’ve just been working on him because he’s playing a whole new position, it’s a new league,” Kroft said. “I was a rookie, shoot, nine years ago, but I’ve just been talking to him about not letting it get too big for him.”