Bengals meet with Auburn DE Dee Ford

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Ford, who is a bit undersized as a defensive end in the NFL, is projected as a late first-round pick and would service a need for the Bengals, who appear likely to lose Michael Johnson to free agency.

Auburn defensive end Dee Ford has met with the Cincinnati Bengals, the projected first-round prospect told reporters on Sunday. Ford also met with the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints, according to reports. We'll quickly point out that when teams interview players during the NFL Combine, one shouldn't apply that when figuring a team's drafting plans... the Bengals apply a lot of due-diligence around this time of year when developing their draft board.

ESPN ranked Dee Ford as the fourth-best prospect entering the 2014 NFL draft. CBS ranked him third-best and SB Nation's Mocking the Draft ranked him as the seventh-best outside linebacker, presumably in a base 3-4 defensive scheme where ESPN theorizes that "he might fit best" because his 6-foot-2, 243 pound frame is viewed as "undersized" at defensive end.

During Auburn's 34-31 loss to Florida State during the BCS Championship game this season, Ford generated two quarterback sacks. Many mock drafts have Ford going late in the first-round or early in the second.

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