#C3 Round 2 Draft Grade: Kony Ealy

As usual, the 2014 draft reminded us that it never goes down the way it was forecasted. So how did the Panthers do? Check C3’s s rundown of Carolina’s 2nd Rd selection, Kony Ealy.  The crew tells you if we got a blue goose or just got stuck with bill some Gray Goose.

Kony Ealy

Crew Critique

“Mel Mayock” aka @PanthersDrafter-  It was almost prophetic that we selected Ealy at Pick 60 (more on that later).  And trust me, he was in play at 28.  Here is what I wrote back in March for a Draft Simulation that I did
over on DraftTek.com when I had us selecting Ealy in the First Round: “So why do this when we have the Kraken and King Charles? Ealy is so versatile that he can play any spot on the line and will give McDermott so many options that Drew Brees and Matt Ryan will have nightmares of waking up on Kony Island.... and with 30% of the Panthers’ cap tied up in the DE spot, adding Ealy gives the Panthers options to not keep both high-priced DEs in 2015.” Now many Panther fans used the adjective “pathetic” instead of “prophetic” when the pick was made. And granted I was screaming for Moses at that point, but Gettleman is right, you need all the pass-rushers you can get. Injuries and apparently domestic violence can get in the way so depth and options are invaluable. I’ll give this Pick an A just for the irony of the situation, plus I love what I see on tape from Ealy. Follow me on Twitter @PanthersDrafter/+Panther Drafter  Grade: A “1st and Ken”- Kudos to “Mel Mayock” for his prescience on this choice, and circumstances have made it much more valuable even factoring OUT getting a first-round talent at the end of the second round. With reserve DE Frank Alexander getting caught in a drug screen and Greg Hardy’s arrest, the Ealy choice is actually one I liked from the moment I saw it on live TV. I figured at minimum, he’d help keep the pass rush fresh and give us some depth without much drop-off. I also realized that the pick was to be used by Gettleman as “leverage” in future contract talks with the Kraken. As it turns out, Greg “The Kraken” Hardy just gave any of 32 future suitors a multi-million dollar contract discount with his arrest on charges of Domestic Violence. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Link is here: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000350256/article/greg-hardy-accuser-he-threw-me-on-couch As for Kony Ealy, I immediately see the value, talent, scheme and positional versatility in a guy who could start for most teams right away. Gettleman addressed several issues with the choice even if he may have already known of Alexander’s test results. While I don’t really see him playing inside at 276 lbs, he’s certainly got a lot of ability as a 4-3 DE. Love the choice and especially the value - both for the field and for the pocketbook. Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye/+Ken Dye  Grade: A+

“The Professor”- This pick almost wasn’t surprising.  We had heard Gettleman hint at adding depth to the defensive line if it aligned with this “best value available” strategy.  It was in this conversation that he graced us with another one of his fun idioms, the “blue goose.” This guy was clearly high on the Panthers board.  Given the developments surrounding Greg Hardy’s arrest and Frank Alexander’s looming suspension, Kony will play a much larger role in the defensive rotation than we thought last week.  

Ealy is sheer beast of a man at 6’5, 276 pounds.  Coming out after his junior season, Ealy’s game is primarily reliant on the speed rush.  He tries to get under and around the big tackles.  After rewatching the Cotton Bowl, Ealy showed he has potential, but still needs substantial development.  At times, he tended to get swallowed up by blockers. Ealy will need to work on some more advanced pass rush techniques and find a way to shed blockers better after initial contact. He’s got the tools that you want to see in any defensive end, gigantic and relatively speedy. Although he is big and fast, Ealy will need to hit the weight room and get country strong to deal with the big boys at the next level. The speed rush alone won’t be enough with more cunning pro tackles.  @Cat_Chronicles/ +Anthony Dunn 

Grade: B+
“Freakin Puerto Rican”-  This defensive end received a first round grade from many teams and analysts. This was a very high value pick for Carolina. With the addition of Ealy our defensive line rotation will be quite formidable. This will make us more effective at getting to the quarterbacks late in games. This draft choice should have all the QBs in the NFCS deeply concerned for their health. I really like this pick. Can’t wait to see him in training camp. Ealy will also lessen the impact of losing the Kraken or Big Money (Charles Johnson) should either be released after this season. @Joe_Riollano/+Joe Riollano 

Grade: A

Willie P (aka Chocolate Wonderland) - Gettleman mentioned it all along about bpa. Ealy brings a versatile, talented pass rusher to complement a group of versatile, talented pass rushers. Fortunate to get at 60. @Begasu26

Grade: B+

So what do you think PantherNation?  Tell us your grade on the Ealy pick and be sure to watch out for our grades on picks 3-6.