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NFL Draft: Panthers get D for picking DE Kony Ealy at No. 60

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Draft coverage: Draft picks and grades | Prospect Rankings | Mock drafts | News

NEW YORK -- While his teammate and SEC defensive player of the year, Michael Sam, took many of the early headlines in the runup to the draft, Kony Ealy was always thought to have been a better prospect. Which was proven Friday by the Panthers when they grabbed Ealy in the second round with the No. 60 overall pick.

Ealy, also a defensive end out of Missouri, has exciting burst off the edge, but at 6-foot-4 and 274 pounds, he also has the athleticism to drop back into coverage. In fact, he recorded 13 passes defended in college, but before we get too high on Ealy, NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang also offered this take:

"Has been surrounded by a lot of talent at Missouri and may struggle early in the NFL if expected to be the star."

That could be what the Panthers have in mind when they selected Ealy, because he'll have plenty of help from Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson.

The move also flummoxed Pete Prisco.

But the words of an anonymous scout to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a couple days before the draft also might have raised questions. Said that scout: "He thinks he's already an Aldon Smith-type player. Classic con man. I don't trust this kid. He will be just a big pain in the (expletive). He's one of those 'let somebody else draft him' guys."

In any event, his watch stole show show Friday night.

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