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Bengals scouting out running backs at Wisconsin pro day

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Two running backs caught the Bengals eye while in Madison this week at the Badgers’ pro day.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Wisconsin vs Western Michigan Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals are on the lookout for a running back (or two) to select in this year’s NFL Draft. On Wednesday, the team had representatives at the Wisconsin Badgers’ pro day.

On display from Wisconsin were outside linebackers T.J. Watt (J.J. Watt’s brother) and Vince Biegel, running backs Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale, left tackle Ryan Ramczyk and cornerback Sojourn Shelton, all of whom attended the NFL Combine. Also working out on Wednesday at Wisconsin were quarterback Bart Houston, wide receiver Robert Wheelwright, safety Leo Musso, tight end Eric Steffes, long snapper Connor Udelhoven and defensive back Serge Trezy UW-Platteville wide receiver Dan Arnold and Lakeland’s Kezlow Smith were also at the pro day.

All 32 NFL teams and 65 total personnel were reportedly in attendance and that included Mike Tomlin and Joey Porter of the Steelers. A Steelers scout reportedly met with Shelton and his family, which makes sense as they are still looking for cornerback help.

The Bengals’ scout at the pro day seem to have been paying the most attention to the running back duo of Biegel and Clement.

Per Katherine Terrell of ESPN:

The Bengals met with Wisconsin running backs Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale at their Pro Day today. The Bengals have shown a lot of interest in running backs during the draft process, including Leonard Fournette and Joe Mixon.

Clement ran a 4.54 40-yard dash time, improved by .14 seconds from the Combine. Here’s a look at some of his pro day drills:

Clement had a nice career at Wisconsin, capped off by a 1,375 rushing yard, 15 touchdown senior season. He also added 132 yards through the air on 12 catches. His next best season was 2014 when he had 949 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns and a 6.5 yard per rush average. He also caught 14 passes for 119 yards that year as Melvin Gordon’s backup.

In 2015, he had taken over the starting duties from now-Chargers star running back, but, his season was cut short after four games due to a sports hernia. He also has some red flags after experiencing a hand injury due to punching someone and lying to coaches about it. There are also some questions regarding his football character and love for the game. An All-Big Ten player, Clement is athletic and able to fend off the opposition, but, the Bengals likely had some big questions in getting to know him before the draft. CBS Sports has Clement ranked as the 12th best running back in the draft and 148th best player overall.

Ogunbowale is ranked as CBS Sports' 28th best running back prospect and the 310th best draft prospect overall. A former walk-on, Ogunbowale was originally a defensive back before making a position-change to running back during the 2014 season. That year, he carried the ball 14 times for 94 yards before getting awarded a scholarship in 2015. He played in 49 games, making 10 starts at Wisconsin and totaled 1,518 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 319 carries. He also caught 60 passes for 507 yards and 2 touchdowns. His redshirt junior season, 2015, was his best at Wisconsin. That was the same year that Clement missed most of. He rushed for 819 yards and 7 touchdowns that year (4.2 yard per carry average). He also added 299 yards and 1 touchdown through the air on 36 catches that season.

The Bengals were likely also eyeing offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk, one of the best lineman in the draft, while at Wisconsin pro day. He's expected to be a late first round pick, so not likely someone the Bengals will have a chance to draft. The Badgers' starting left tackle for all of 2016, he received All-Big Ten honors and AP All-American accolades. He has been compared to Joe Staley at the NFL level.

Wisconsin pro day results

Player 40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Split Three-Cone 20-Yard Shuttle 60-Yard Shuttle Bench Press Broad Jump Vertical Jump
Player 40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Split Three-Cone 20-Yard Shuttle 60-Yard Shuttle Bench Press Broad Jump Vertical Jump
Sojourn Shelton 4.5 1.49 6.78 NA 11.04 DNP 124.5" DNP
Serge Trezy 4.51 1.52 7 4.32 11.69 16 123" 40.5"
Corey Clement 4.54 1.58 6.7 4.19 11.16 NA 120" 32"
Robert Wheelwright 4.54 1.57 6.68 4.11 11.14 15 10'8.5" 38"
Leo Musso 4.57 1.52 6.56 4.09 11.05 15 128.0" 40.5"
Dare Ogunbowale 4.58 1.58 DNP 4.22 DNP DNP DNP DNP
Eric Steffes 5.05 1.71 DNP 4.5 DNP 14 101.5" 25"
Bart Houston 5.15 1.77 6.92 4.43 11.99 DNP 106.5" 29"
Connor Udelhoven 5.49 1.82 7.46 4.56 12.8 18 96" 26"
T.J. Watt DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Vince Biegel DNP DNP DNP DNP 11.36 DNP DNP DNP
Ryan Ramczyk DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

*All numbers listed as provided by Wisconsin.