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Bengals attend Missouri Pro Day; Kony Ealy and Michael Sam Impress

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The Bengals were at Missouri's pro day on Thursday, and one player there is a candidate for their first-round pick in May's NFL Draft.

According to SB Nation's own Matthew Fairburn, the Cincinnati Bengals were represented at Missouri's pro day. The Tigers are coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, and much of that had to do with their 41 sacks on defense, tied for the fourth-most in the nation.

19.5 of those came from defensive ends Michael Sam and Kony Ealy. While all the offseason attention has been paid to Sam for reasons unrelated to football, Ealy is the one who deserves the spotlight. He's been mocked to the Bengals several times, and he may be the best player available when the Bengals are on the clock at No. 24.

He may also be the best candidate to replace the production lost from Michael Johnson signing with the Buccaneers. Not only is Ealy a solid pass-rusher, but he also sets the edge well and is regarded as one of the best run-defending DE prospects in this draft.

Ealy was unofficially timed at 4.57 in the 40-yard dash, better than his 4.92 recording at the combine.

As for Sam, he ran the 40-yard dash in an unofficial 4.73 seconds (4.91 at scouting combine), but was sidelined from his second attempt by a right hamstring strain. He also posted a 30-inch vertical, a five-inch improvement from what he posted at the scouting combine.

As far as projections go, the Bengals have to take Ealy at No. 24 if they want him, as he's unlikely to fall out of the top 50 picks. Sam is a different case, as most expect him to be picked somewhere around the fifth-round. Depending on how confident the Bengals are in Margus Hunt, Robert Geathers and/or Wallace Gilberry to start alongside Carlos Dunlap, they may select one of even both of the Mizzou pass-rushers.

Wouldn't that be something.