05/12/2014 - The Panthers had more pressing issues of need than at defensive end. But general manager Dave Gettleman followed up on his promise to draft from the top of his board, no matter the position. When Carolina went on the clock at No. 60 overall, they wasted no time handing in their card for Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy. "(He) was the highest-rated guy on the board at that point. It was the same as last year when we took KK (Kawann Short) in the second round. KK was a first-round value for us and you just can't pass up good football players," Gettleman said. "I think the 2013 season showed that for a quarterback it's very difficult to throw the ball when you're on your back and it's a big part of it. He was too good a value to pass up."
One of the reasons the Panthers were interested in Ealy is he doesn't have just one spot. He's big enough and strong enough to slide inside on passing downs, flexibility Carolina's incumbent ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy have provided in recent seasons. But Johnson is scheduled to make $16.42 million this year and $17.42 million in 2015. Hardy, who was given the franchise tag, will earn $13.1 million, and a long-term deal before the season remains unlikely. So while the Panthers may not necessarily need Ealy right now, this pick may have been made with a future without the pricing Johnson or Hardy in mind. - The Sports Xchange
05/12/2014 - A closer look at the Panthers' picks: Round 2/60 -- Kony Ealy, DE, 6-4, 273, Missouri...General manager Dave Gettleman said he was "shocked" Ealy was still on the board when the Panthers were on the clock at No. 60. Many considered Ealy a first-round pick, and Carolina was more than happy to stop his curious fall even though it wasn't for a position of need. - The Sports Xchange
05/08/2014 - 2014 DRAFT SCOUT FINAL TOP 100: 35/4. *Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri, 6-4, 273, 4.84, 1-2...Former high school standout as tight end, defensive end and a Missouri all-state basketball player. That athleticism is conspicuous in his overall play, especially his burst off the line, quick spin moves and closing speed on whomever has the ball. Will need to improve arm and hand strength to disengage big blockers, evidenced by his so-so 22 reps with 225 pounds on the bench at the combine. Some teams are considering him as a possible linebacker and he showed decent lateral agility in games and at combine, where his 3-cone drill was fastest among defensive linemen (7.11 seconds). Frankly: Solid, reliable but unless he works on strength and technique he may fall short of spectacular at next level against steady diet of great athletes. - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com
05/07/2014 - Five players who should be on Atlanta's draft radar...DE Kony Ealy, Missouri: If Atlanta doesn't address the pass rush in the first round, there's a good chance they do in the second round with the 37th pick. Ealy had his best season in 2013 as a junior, finishing second on the Tigers behind Michael Sam in sacks (9.5) and tackles for loss (14.5). He has NFL size, build and length, working hard to fill out his frame with an all-around ability reminiscent of a first round player. Ealy has active hands, but doesn't use them correctly, allowing him to be neutralized at the point of attack. He displays very smooth athleticism for his size with the movement skills and pass rush athleticism to disrupt the pocket from the edges or kicked inside as a 3-technique, but still very raw in several areas, mostly his instincts and recognition skills. Ealy might need some time to adjust to the NFL game, but presents a good value in the second round. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
05/06/2014 - The Sports Xchange 2014 NFL Draft Best Team Fit: Arizona Cardinals...DE/OLB Kony Ealy, Missouri: The Cardinals need a young pass rusher and at 6-foot-4, Ealy has the height and reach the Cardinals are missing. It would be a perfect spot for Ealy to land. He can be a situational player at first, playing behind, and learning from, John Abraham, who leads active players in career sacks. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
05/06/2014 - Dane Brugler's 2014 NFL Draft Final Top-50: 40. Kony Ealy DE, Missouri (6-4, 273, 4.92, rJR)...A good-sized athlete with plus length, Ealy displays smooth acceleration off the edge and bends the arc very well. He is still a tad raw with ball awareness, but he is a forceful striker with the NFL tools to line up inside or outside at the next level. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
03/26/2014 - Michael Sam, Kony Ealy improve 40 times at Missouri pro day...Ealy ran in the mid-4.6s on Thursday, a vast improvement over the 4.92 time from the combine. One report had Ealy timed at 4.57 seconds, which would be a personal record. NFLDraftScout.com's No. 22 overall prospect, he could be in play as early as No. 10 to the Detroit Lions, where head coach Jim Caldwell could form a tag team of edge rushers in Ziggy Ansah and Ealy in the mold of his Colts tandem, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
The Chicago Bears (14) and Dallas Cowboys (16) would also be natural fits for Ealy. NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang projects Ealy to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 20, while fellow analyst Dane Brugler has him going to the Denver Broncos at No. 31 in their current Mock Drafts. - The Sports Xchange
02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 17. *Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri, 6-5, 275, 4.77, 1...Former high school standout as tight end and defensive end and was a Missouri all-state basketball player. All that athleticism is conspicuous in his overall play, including burst off the line, quick spin moves and closing speed on whoever has the ball. Will need to improve arm and hand strength to be able to disengage big blockers at the next level. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
01/04/2014 - Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy is bypassing his senior season for the NFL draft. Ealy said Friday night after the No. 9 Tigers' 41-31 win over No. 13 Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl that he felt it was time "to go on to the next level." An All-SEC pick, the 6-foot-5 Ealy had six tackles and two sacks in his final game, pushing his season total to 9?? sacks. "I love my teammates. I love my coaches," Ealy said. "I've gone from a boy to a man here." He had 14 sacks in 38 career games for the Tigers. - AP Sports
01/04/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft: Pass rusher Kony Ealy adds his name to draft class...Missouri junior defensive end Kony Ealy made it official Friday night after the Cotton Bowl, revealing he would skip his senior year to enter the 2014 NFL Draft. Ealy is rated as the No. 3 draft-eligible defensive end for the 2014 class and the No. 24 prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com. The 6-5, 275-pound pass rusher projects as a first round prospect. A two-year starter, Ealy finished the season second on the team behind Michael Sam in sacks with 8.5, but he projects as the better NFL prospect. He did lead Missouri in forced fumbles (3) and quarterback hurries (16), setting career-bests across the board in 2013.
Ealy is built well for an edge rusher and wins with his quick first step, length to engage and rip and the hand strength to powerfully finish tackles. He is still developing as a run defender and needs to improve his ball awareness to better set the edge and shed consistently vs. the run. A versatile athlete, Ealy can win using speed off the edge and quickness to penetrate as an interior rusher. He's just scratching the surface of his ability and should continue to improve with his pass rush moves. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
12/11/2013 - 2013 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM: DE - Kony Ealy (Tie), Missouri, 6-5, 275, Jr,...Ealy joined line mate Sam as one of the most disruptive pairs of bookends in the nation, as he added 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 2013. Ealy forced a pair of fumbles in Saturday's SEC Championship Game, one of which was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter by Gaines. - Missouri football
12/09/2013 - 2014 NFL DRAFT: WEEK 15 STOCK REPORT, NFL PROSPECTS WHO HELPED THEMSELVES: DE Kony Ealy, Missouri...I've received a lot of questions in recent weeks why I decided to include Ealy in my first round mock drafts. And my answer, plain and simple, is he has first round tools. And in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday vs. Auburn, Ealy showed those skills, finishing with five tackles, one sack and a game-high three tackles for loss, adding a pair of forced fumbles in the first quarter that gave Missouri some early momentum. He is built well for an edge pass rusher and wins with a quick first step, length to engage and rip, and the hand strength to powerfully finish tackles.
As disruptive as he is as a rusher, Ealy is still developing as a run defender and needs to improve his awareness to better set the edge and shed to be consistent against the run. Although he doesn't have the same production as his teammate Michael Sam, Ealy is the more attractive NFL prospect because of the tools and he has first round ability for the 2014 class if he decides to skip his senior season. The secret is out. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
09/23/2013 - WEEK 4 SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri..Ealy had perhaps the single biggest individual play of Saturday's game at Indiana, when, with the Hoosiers driving for a potential tying score right before half, he jumped to knock down a pass on a 3rd-and-3 at the MU 46-yardline with two minutes left. Instead of just knocking the ball down, however, Ealy got the ball to stick in his mitts, and he raced the other way for a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown. That staked the Tigers out to a 28-14 lead, and they never looked back the rest of the night, as the Tigers pulled away for the big road win.
The pickoff was the first of Ealy's career, and he ended the night with 2 total pass break ups overall, while adding one solo tackle as the Tigers held the vaunted Hoosier offense to well below their season averages coming in. Through three games, Ealy leads the Tiger defense with 4 pass break ups. According to www.cfbstats.com, Ealy's 5 passes defended (PBU's plus INTs) ranks him 26th among all defenders nationally, and tied for first among all defensive linemen. - SEC football
09/05/2013 - Scouting the Missouri pass defense: The entire defense needed a wake-up call in the first half against Murray State, surrendering 256 yards. Missouri's secondary didn't allow many big plays outside of a 34-yard catch early in the game, but the pass rush was non-existent for the first quarter and a half. Missouri's starting defensive line registered just one sack, and DE Kony Ealy didn't have a tackle. The pass defense starts up front with pressure, and that didn't occur much last Saturday. - The Sports Xchange
08/26/2013 - TOP MISSOURI PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 1. DE Kony Ealy (6-5, 275, 4.77)*...Senior cornerback E.J. Gaines has been more successful. Sophomore wideout Dorial Green-Beckham arrived with more fanfare. But, if the Missouri Tigers can emerge as a power in the SEC in 2013, it will likely take a breakout performance from Ealy, the team's most intriguing talent potentially eligible for the 2014 NFL draft. Ealy signed with Missouri as a highly regarded prep linebacker. He redshirted in 2010, saw limited action in 2011 (13 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack) and emerged as a 10-game starter for the Tigers in 2012. Along the way, he's grown into a 275-pound monster while still maintaining his impressive athleticism.
Ealy played in all 12 games for the Tigers last season, recording 37 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also showed a knack for getting his hands up, knocking down seven passes, second on the team to Gaines. Ealy's athleticism jumps off the tape. Operating at LDE for the Tigers, Ealy showed good initial quickness off the snap to force right tackles into respecting his speed rush. He also has a quick spin move back to the inside to complement his speed. Perhaps best of all, when he gets a lane, Ealy closes quickly on the ball-carrier. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/26/2013 - TOP MISSOURI PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 1. DE Kony Ealy (6-5, 275, 4.77)*...The former linebacker is far from a finished product, however. Ealy is prone to coming off the snap too high, making himself vulnerable to cut blocks. He also spends too much time battling with blockers at the line of scrimmage, needing to improve his hand play to disengage quicker, as well as showing better awareness of where the ball is headed. These, of course, are coachable and should improve in 2013.
With opponents focusing on stopping star defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in 2012, Ealy had things relatively easy during his impressive redshirt sophomore campaign. He'll be the one receiving extra attention this year, however. If he can build upon his success from a season ago despite the additional blocking sent his way, Ealy could emerge as one of the more highly regarded pass rushers in the country. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com