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OU tight end Jermaine Gresham goes to Cincinnati Bengals with No. 21 pick

BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, Modified: April 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm •  Published: April 23, 2010

Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer will know what it was like to be Sam Bradford during Oklahoma’s record-breaking 2008 season.

During Thursday night’s NFL Draft, the Bengals drafted playmaking Sooner tight end Jermaine Gresham with the No. 21 overall pick.

"Great talent, very young guy, still a lot more upside,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

Gresham will be given the opportunity to start right away for Cincinnati, which, despite having Palmer and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, struggled at times last season.

Some of that struggle stemmed from a weakness at tight end.

Last year, the Bengals drafted Missouri tight END Chase Coffman, with hopes he would fill that void. But Coffman struggled with his blocking and also was injured for much of the year.

The Bengals had the chance to take Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was still on the board at No. 21.

But getting help at tight end was among Cincinnati’s top priorities, and Gresham was viewed as the top option at the position.

"He gives us more options out of the chute, the size and speed and ability to catch as well as physical toughness and how we like to play,” said Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski

"He’ll be given that opportunity (to start).