Former Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy, projected as a first-round pick, is a close friend of New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. They grew up together in St. Louis and were teammates at Missouri. A sampling of Ealy's media session at the NFL scouting combine:
On Richardson offering advice as he prepares for the draft: "Sheldon has been great. He's been kind of a big brother, [a] mentor to me, just trying to help me through this process, not knowing what to expect, giving me valid points and telling me to do what I do, what I've been doing since I was young. And that's being athletic, being a freak."
On whether he's inspired by Richardson's performance as a rookie: "Of course, you know, I have the confidence. I know I can go into the NFL and play right away. It's just a matter of getting the plays and learning the playbook, and when I do that, I'm going to be explosive."
On what Richardson has shared about life in the NFL: "He says it's lavish, which means lovely."
Describe Michael Sam as a person: "A loving brother, he's caring to the team. He's always singing, which gets on my nerves sometimes, but other than that, he's just fun to be around, fun to play with. I know at the end of the day he's gonna do his job. No other guy I'd rather go to war with."
A current NFL player you pattern youself after: "I compare myself to Aldon [Smith, another ex-Tiger]. He's a freak athlete. He gets off the ball. He probably had a little more sacks than me in college in my career. And J.J. Watt when it comes to pass deflections."