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Everything Cedric Johnson Had To Say After Getting Drafted To The Cincinnati Bengals

Cedric Johnson

Defensive end; Mississippi

Tell us a little bit about your playing style and what you hope to bring to the Bengals as an edge rusher …

"I hope to bring my speed, my strength, my versatility to the team. I'm just simply ready to be a part of it. I don't even know too much to say really, but I'm just excited to bring everything I can."

What was it like when you got the call?

"Honestly, I'm just sitting here waiting and waiting, and I finally got the call, and they're like 'Is this Cedric?' (I responded) 'It is,' and they're like 'This is the Bengals, we're going to take you in the sixth round.' I don't know, I kind of just froze for a second, and didn't know what to think. I'm just super happy and blessed to be a part of this team."

This time in the draft, the Bengals usually take the best player on their board, and a lot of times they anticipated that player being drafted maybe a round or two earlier than they thought. Did they communicate anything like that to you, or just haven't gotten to that point yet?

"We haven't got to that point yet. I'm happy wherever I landed. I'm just happy to be a part of the team."

Day three can be stressful. How did you pass the time until you got the call?

"Just talking to my friends and family that are here, a little bit of Tik Toking, just trying anything to pass the time, really."

How would you describe the athleticism you bring to the defensive line?

"I bring a lot of athleticism. My explosion with my get off, my speed when I'm running, my strength — I feel like I've got a lot to bring to the team."

You won the Chucky Mullins award. One of those former winners is Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton. Do you know him at all?

"Yes, indeed."

How well do you know him, what's that relationship?

"I don't really know him like that. I know he's one of our Ole Miss guys, one of our legends from here."

What were your connections with Cincinnati? Did you talk to them or Zoom with them at all, or have any idea this could happen?

"I had some Zoom meetings with two of the coaches there — Coach (Marion) Hobby and Coach (Mark) Duffner. We had some good conversations. I talked a lot with the scouts, and had some great conversations. They showed some interest in me from the start."

A lot of scouting reports indicate that you're versatile. How versatile are you up and down the defensive line?

"Very versatile. I've played a zero-technique, three-technique, all kinds from a zero to a five — I can do it all. I feel like I'm going to add a lot of versatility to the team."

One of the NFL's better pass rushers is here in Trey Hendrickson. Do you plan to be a sponge, and try and learn as much from him as you can?

"Absolutely. I'd be a fool not to. I want to soak up as much knowledge as I can from all the guys there, just keep adding to my game, just keep getting better and better so I can be a great asset to the team."

Are you better as a run defender or pass rusher?

"For sure pass rush, and I'm continually always working on the run game."


2024 NFL Draft

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