2014 NFL mock draft: DE Kony Ealy to Cincinnati Bengals with 24th pick

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With the 24th pick in the 2014 Arrowhead Pride mock draft, Cincinnati Bengals GM Robert Mayes selects...

If Kansas City does not trade down, then the Bengals may be in the position to see the pick right before theirs in this draft turn out to be a perennial Pro-Bowler.  And the Bengals may get to the point where they can only think of what might have been.  Bengals writers in years to come may kick themselves at their team not having recognized the latent stardom and potential awesomeness of the player selected by the Chiefs in this draft and trading up to get him.  Or if they had recognized that incredible talented athlete drafted by the Chiefs, that their team was unable to draft that NFL football bomb who little kids will have posters of, simply because the Chiefs picked him first. Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.

Most of you who have paid any attention to the mock drafts will be surprised why Cincinnati isn't drafting a cornerback here with their first rounder.  After all, there are some very good reasons why it would make great sense for the Bengals to grab another corner.  Injuries have hurt Bengals CBs in the last few years.  (Terence Newman had a knee injury and was out the last four games this year; Leon Hall has had two of his last three seasons shortened with Achilles injuries). Age is an issue. (Newman is 35 and in the last year of his contract.  Adam "Pacman" Jones is 30.  Hall is 29, but injuries can slow an athlete up). Dre Kirkpatrick is a young corner, drafted in the first round in 2012.  But unfortunately, he has not lived up to his potential and Marvin Lewis' team has yet to reap the dividends. This is why almost all the mock drafts have the Bengals selecting a CB in the first round (Bradley Roby has been a favored pick for many).

But there are a few caveats that make this an interesting scenario.

1) Even though Newman is closer to Brett Favre in terms of age than he is to the rookie class this year, he has played some of the best football of his career in these last two years. Also, being in the last year of his contract, Newman will definitely want to show he can still play - and I think he will.

2) The Bengals may want to give Dre Kirkpatrick one more year to prove himself. Sometimes players bloom later in their careers. It doesn't look good for the front office to identify a former first rounder as a bust. They may want to save some face as well by seeing if Marvin Lewis can find if not a diamond in the rough of Dre Kirkpatrick, at least a precious emerald.

3) Bradley Roby picked the wrong time for legal woes. The mock-draft love man-child suggested for the Bengals now may slide to another round. Bengals fans are drooling at the possibility that they might be able to get Roby in the second round.

4) Jason Verrett is a great quality corner too, being selected to the first-team All-Big 12 and allowing Odell Beckham Jr. only one catch in their meeting this fall. But Verrett is short, standing 5'9 and Marvin Lewis has demonstrated that he likes corners to be larger size who can physically press opposing receivers.  Verrett would get the nod if the draft were shallower and there wasn't as much talent.

With all this in mind, and especially with the hopes that they can land Bradley Roby in the second round due to his legal issue (it wouldn't be the first time a player with off the field problems became a Bengal), Cincinnati chooses to take one of the more talented players at another position of need ...

Missouri DE Kony Ealy

Cincinnati lost right DE Michael Johnson to Tampa Bay this year in free agency. They didn't really bring in any other competition.  While some on the Internet suggest that the defensive line of the Bengals will be fine, that they have great competition who can step in, yada yada yada ... there is one point that hasn't been made. The starting right defensive end currently for the Bengals is Wallace Gilberry. Remember him, Chiefs fans? As great of a guy as he was for us, he was still only a situational player. Gilberry had his ups and downs with us, one of the downs being some horrible run defense against the Browns of all teams. But with Ealy on the board, and with Bradley Roby possibly dropping, Marvin Lewis rolls the dice and Cincinnati takes the best 4-3 defensive end on the board, hoping to go for cornerback in round two.

Go Chiefs!

  1. Houston Texans (kuchiefs13) - South Carolina DE / LB Jadeveon Clowney
  2. St. Louis Rams (chiefsman7588) - Auburn OT Greg Robinson
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (Steve The Hedge) - Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater
  4. Cleveland Browns (NigerianNightmare) - Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
  5. Oakland Raiders (seein'red) - Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
  6. Atlanta Falcons (chiefstruelove) - Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (kswanson) - North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
  8. Minnesota Vikings (kcsno56) - Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
  9. Buffalo Bills (Aesthist) - Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
  10. Detroit Lions (BuckTheFroncos) - Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert
  11. Tennessee Titans (mrchiefs101) - Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  12. New York Giants (Akr_baby) - Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
  13. St. Louis Rams (chiefsman7588) - Louisville S Calvin Pryor
  14. Chicago Bears (Ben Mitchum) - Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers (SacramentoDrew) - Texas A&M LT Jake Matthews
  16. Dallas Cowboys (LocoGonzo) - Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan
  17. Baltimore Ravens (Ben S) - Michigan OT Taylor Lewan
  18. New York Jets (Kdub64) - Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks
  19. Miami Dolphins (SayHeyWerd) - Notre Dame OT/G Zack Martin
  20. Arizona Cardinals (Koopaztown) - Auburn DE Dee Ford
  21. Green Bay Packers (kaiser1118) - UCLA LB Anthony Barr
  22. Philadelphia Eagles (Matt in KC) - LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.
  23. Kansas City Chiefs (R2J) - USC WR Marqise Lee
  24. Cincinnati Bengals (Robert Mayes) - Mizzou DE Kony Ealy
  25. San Diego Chargers (TheDudeAbides007)
  26. Cleveland Browns (NigerianNightmare)
  27. New Orleans Saints (BeeRadd)
  28. Carolina Panthers (citadelchief)
  29. New England Patriots (death2norm)
  30. San Francisco 49ers (Smitty713)
  31. Denver Broncos (craig in calgary)
  32. Seattle Seahawks (misterbrain)
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