Missouri DL Kony Ealy says he had 3rd-4th round projection

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Every year, dozens of college juniors test the NFL waters by submitting an application to the NFL's Draft Advisory Board, which helps them determine where they might project in the NFL draft, and ultimately decide to return to school for their final season. And while the draft fate of those who choose to make the jump is on display for all to see in late April, the draft status of those who return to school remains private.

That is, except for the rare occasion when a player chooses to make it public, as Missouri senior defensive lineman Kony Ealy has done. Ealy told the Kansas City Star he received third- to fourth-round feedback from the NFLDAB. Ealy was actually just a sophomore last year, but because he redshirted in 2010 and was three years removed from high school, he could have declared under draft eligibility rules. Ealy returns this season as a junior looking to close the gap on a first-round draft grade. He's already added some needed size, putting on 15 pounds since last season, and now stands 6-4, 275.

This fall, he'll look to add to his sack total from last year (3.5) and establish himself as one of the SEC's top defensive linemen.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter at @ChaseGoodbread.

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