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Bengals attend Houston and Western Kentucky pro days

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The Bengals need offensive linemen, and Forrest Lamp is one of the best in this draft class. That’s why it makes a lot of sense that offensive line coach Paul Alexander was at his pro day.

NCAA Football: C-USA Championship-Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals could be in the market for both guards and tackles when the NFL Draft kicks off. Why not take a guy who can play both?

Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp is viewed as one of the best linemen in the 2017 NFL Draft, but it’s unclear at which position he will be playing in the NFL. Most project the 6’4”, 309-pound Lamp to be a guard in the NFL, but there’s some hope he can play tackle if needed.

There’s also some thought that Lamp could even be a center in the NFL, which should make him even more attractive to a Bengals team that needs help/upgrades all along their offensive line. Perhaps that’s why the Bengals were in attendance for WKU’s pro day on Monday, according to Tony Pauline. Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander reportedly worked with the Eagles’ o-line coach to work out Lamp at the pro day.

Lamp is someone projected to go in the late Round 1 to early Round 2 range, so it’s possible the Bengals are able to get him with the 41st overall pick. Despite not having a clear-cut position in the NFL, Lamp would be a huge get for the Bengals in Round 2.

The only other Hilltopper with a draftable grade is wide receiver Taywan Taylor, who CBS Sports projects to be a Round 3 selection. Taylor had a great senior year in 2016 after catching 98 passes (tied for fifth in the FBS) for 1,730 yards (third) and 17 scores (tied for third). He had similar statistics in 2015 with 86 grabs for 1,467 yards (third in FBS) and 17 scores (second).

However, all of this came in an air-raid type of offense against vastly inferior Conference USA foes, which is why his big numbers don’t have him high on draft boards. Even so, Taylor is a great receiver who’d be a nice addition to the Bengals.

Houston Pro Day

Elsewhere, the Bengals made it down to Houston for the Cougars’ pro day on Monday. Cincinnati spent a first-round pick on former Houston corner William Jackson III last year, but the Cougars don’t have nearly as much NFL talent in this year’s draft.

One name to watch for is outside linebacker Tyus Bowser. A promising NFL prospect entering 2016, Bowser was coming off of a junior year in which he racked up 50 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks. However, a fight with one of his teammates resulted in Bowser missing a month with a broken orbital bone.

Despite playing in just eight games, Bowser still recorded 47 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. That kind of pass-rushing threat from the outside is something the Bengals need more of, so Bowser could be someone to watch for in Rounds 2-3.

Another Cougars defender to watch for is cornerback Brandon Wilson, who the Bengals met with while in Houston. With Jackson off to the NFL last year, Wilson stepped up as a starter. In 2016, he had 43 tackles, including four tackles for loss and two sacks, five pass breakups, one interception and one forced fumble He also contributed on special teams with 21 kick returns for 510 yard. He also contributed on offense with five receptions for 52 yards and four carries for six yards, while seeing time as a running back in the Las Vegas Bowl, per the Houston Cougars’ website.

That’s great production, even if it did come in the AAC. Perhaps the Bengals make it two straight years they draft a Houston corner, though Wilson would likely cost an early Day 3 pick.

Here’s a look at Wilson’s pro day numbers:

40 time - 4.36
Bench - 24 reps
Vertical - 41"
Broad - 11'1
3-cone - 7.07
Shuttle - 4.31