Kony Ealy NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Carolina Panthers DE

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2014

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 19:  Defensive lineman Kony Ealy #47 of the Missouri Tigers reacts after a sack of quarterback Tyler Murphy #3 of the Florida Gator sduring the game at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri (HT: 6’4” WT: 273 lbs)

Carolina Panthers

Second Round: 60th Pick 

NFL Comparison: Aldon Smith, OLB, San Francisco 49ers


Combine Weigh-In
6'4"27334 1/4"9 1/2"
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeBench


  • Extremely versatile, effective as an edge defender or interior rusher and from various stances. 
  • Statistical production improved each season. 
  • Consistently plays with a high motor and high energy level. 
  • Highly instinctive in terms of play recognition and situational awareness. 
  • Is a constant hands user defending against the run and pass, skilled with his hands as well. 
  • Strength in his upper body to work effective rip, club and swim moves. 
  • Bats away the hands of pass-blockers when he gets a step or into gaps. 
  • Has flashed an efficient spin move and doesn’t lack for a variety of pass rush moves. 
  • Comes off the ball with sufficient burst to fire into contact or through gaps from the interior. 
  • Fine change of direction with quick feet to exploit offensive guards as an interior rusher.  
  • Has a track record of forcing fumbles when he gets to quarterbacks. 
  • Ability to get his hands on passes, incredible awareness of the quarterback in the pocket. 
  • Comfortable dropping into space on zone blitzes or as a quarterback spy. 
  • Is a backfield disruptor through splitting gaps, productive in terms of tackles for loss. 
  • Meets run-blockers with his hands and disengages well. 
  • Will push back edge-blockers to set the edge or force backs to get deeper to win around the corner. 
  • Effective and productive in pursuit of ball-carriers with a nose for the football.


  • Build looks a bit soft with bad weight to shed around the edges. 
  • Is not a dynamic athlete in terms of open-field speed, explosiveness or flexibility. 
  • Body type lends itself to playing with high pad level. 
  • Not an overpowering defensive lineman on contact despite a thick build. 
  • Rarely presses the pocket with a bull rush and doesn’t convert speed to power. 
  • Doesn’t press the corner with speed to rush the arc or overextend offensive tackles. 
  • Overly passive as a rusher on occasion, more assertive from the interior. 
  • Has issues keeping shoulders square to the line of scrimmage, making it easier for blockers to control his movements. 
  • Inconsistent getting off blocks when outsized, getting locked up at times. 
  • Can give ground defending the run; not incredibly stout. 
  • Negligible burst to close on ball-carriers when he does get off blocks.
Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • ESPN's 49th-ranked DE as a recruiting prospect.
  • Was a much leaner player out of high school at 6'5" and 230 pounds.
  • Started for two seasons after redshirting in 2010 and seeing marginal playing time in 2011.
  • Agriculture major at Missouri.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.com.


Ealy's versatility, technical refinement and endless energy will have him getting snaps in the NFL for a long time. His lack of physical upside in terms of athleticism and strength could keep him from ever becoming a dynamic pass-rushing talent. 

Having the potential to be that type of rusher should be a prerequisite to being drafted in the top half of the first round.

Draft Projection: 2nd Round

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