Horns Illustrated

How will Joseph Ossai fit with Cincinnati Bengals?

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One of the first attributes analysts, scouts and coaches — including Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor — bring up when asked about Joseph Ossai is his never-ending pursuit of opponents (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

Over the last three years, Joseph Ossai quickly emerged as one of the Texas Longhorns’ top defensive players. When he moved to the defense’s JACK position in 2020, he became the kind of force around whom opposing coaching staffs build their offensive protections and game plans. 

Despite opting out of the Longhorns’ bowl game to start preparing for the NFL Draft, Ossai led the team with five sacks and 16 tackles for loss — each was more than twice the total put up by any of his teammates — and finished third on the team with 55 tackles. 

His performance earned him consensus All-Big 12 and All-America honors, and prompted the Cincinnati Bengals to select him in the third round, with 69th overall pick, in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Many viewed Ossai as the driving force for the UT defense. But how will he fit in with the Cincinnati defense?

The Bengals’ defense


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