Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, the Big 12 co-defensive player of the year, was one pick away from being taken in the first round and on the first day of the NFL draft.
Ogbah was selected Friday by the Cleveland Browns with the first pick of the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
“It’s a well-deserved honor and we are extremely proud,” coach Mike Gundy said. “Emmanuel took care of his business here at Oklahoma State and did everything the right way. They are getting a big time player. He is a blue-collar player who has worked extremely hard and will be a great addition to their organization. Look forward to watching him at the next level.”
His selection also marks the fifth year in the last eight that a Cowboy has been selected in the first or second round of the NFL Draft and the eighth-consecutive year that at least one Cowboy has been chosen in the draft.
“I had some of the best times of my life at Oklahoma State and I’ll forever be grateful for all of the time and energy that Coach Gundy, Coach Glass and the entire staff at OSU put into helping me become the best I could be, both as a player and as a man,” Ogbah said. “I’m also thankful for all the Cowboy fans out there and the Stillwater community, who supported me from day one.”
Cleveland picked Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman at No. 15 in th first round.
“As we set out this offseason and talked about some of the goals that we had for our organization, other than landing this man (Hue Jackson) and some dynamic playmakers on offense, being able to find an edge rusher in the draft was high on our list of priorities,” Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said. “For our board, Emmanuel is our best player. We had a first-round grade on him so we were hopeful and really pleased leaving last night that he sat there waiting on us.”
Ogbah, who earned All-America honors at defensive end, becomes the 19th draft pick of the Mike Gundy coaching era.
In addition to earning first-team All-America honors last season, Ogbah finished the season as the Big 12 leader in sacks and was second in the conference in tackles for loss. He set a single-season school record with 19 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles, recovered two, scored a defensive touchdown and broke up four passes at the line of scrimmage.
Ogbah was also honored as the national defensive player of the week on three occasions, as well as the Big 12 defensive player of the week three times.
Ogbah ends his Cowboy career as the school’s all-time leader in career quarterback hurries with 26 and ranks fourth in career sacks with 28 and fourth in tackles for loss with 40, despite forgoing his final year of eligibility.
At the 2016 NFL Combine, Ogbah ranked among the top three defensive lineman in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump in the on-field workouts.
“Obviously, we’re really excited to add him to our outside linebacker unit. He has an exceptional combination of power, speed and athleticism,” said Browns’ Vice President of Player Personnel Andrew Berry. “We think he will be able to add some pass-rush ability to our team.”
“I will play whatever position the Cleveland Browns want me to play,” Ogbah said. “I will rush standing up. I will rush with my hands on the ground. Whatever they want me to do, I will do it.”
Ogbah, a three-year starter at Oklahoma State, had 133 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss and 26.5 sacks.
“We want to impact our team with more speed and with more playmaking ability, and I think we all recognize in order to do that in the National Football League you can do it a couple of ways,” said Cleveland coach Hue Jackson said. “One is with power and the other one is with speed. We were able to get two players thus far that have both.”
Former OSU cornerback Kevin Peterson agreed to terms with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent, while cornerback Michael Hunter did the same with the New York Giants and linebacker Ryan Simmons with the Oakland Raiders. Former OSU wide receiver David Glidden also signed with the Atlanta Falcons.