Kony Ealy works out with Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons

Missouri Tigers star defensive end Kony Ealy is one of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft class, and he will almost certainly be a first-round pick despite seeing his draft stock fall a bit since the offseason began. Ealy has the ability to play as a defensive end in either the 3-4 or 4-3, and he could also be a 3-4 outside linebacker or play as a 4-3 defensive tackle in sub-package situations. If he falls to the 29th pick, I could see him as an attractive option for the New England Patriots, who like to kick defensive ends inside in obvious passing situations.

The NFL Network’s Gil Brandt reports that Ealy worked out for the Carolina Panthers this morning and will work out for the rival Atlanta Falcons tomorrow. It wouldn’t make sense for the Falcons to take Ealy with the sixth pick overall, but he would be a great pick for them if he falls to the second round. The Panthers would be in a position to take Ealy off the board in the late first round, but they simply don’t have a need for a defensive lineman.

As it stands right now, the Panthers have gaping holes at wide receiver, offensive tackle, and in the secondary, and they desperately need to fill those needs in aggressively. Their defensive line is stacked and one of the best in the NFL, especially after they spent their top picks on talented DTs Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short last year in much-needed moves. They also franchised superstar DE Greg Hardy this offseason, spending a great deal of money on him.

Although it wouldn’t make any sense for the Panthers to take Ealy, the Falcons are a very logical landing spot for him if he falls in the second round. That is, of course, if the Falcons don’t trade up for Jadeveon Clowney or even Khalil Mack and instead decide to draft Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews to fill in their need at offensive tackle. If they still have a need for a pass rusher and Ealy is available in the second, then he would make plenty of sense for a team that will likely run both the 3-4 and 4-3 next year.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers Football Kony Ealy Missouri Tigers NFL Draft

  • chad Anderson

    I think I want a new GM in this years draft! Lol

  • Panther Hines

    The Panthers don’t have “gaping holes” in the secondary. They’re returning 2 of 4 starters and getting Godfrey back from IR. Godfreys injury is the only reason why Mitchell even played FS last year. Harper and Lester will be fine rotating at SS. White held his own at CB2 last year and Caison will be okay. They could upgrade either or both positions via the draft but its not a dire need as long as they’re playing behind that front 7. The legion of whom will be back in effect. Though I’d prefer a WR with top pick, of Ealy is the highest rated player on Gettlemans big board when they select, I’d be okay with it. He’s a heck of a player and would only make the Panthers strengths even stronger and give the Panthers a backup plan if they cannot get a long term deal done with Hardy

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      I’m not so optimistic about the Panthers secondary after losing Munnerlyn and Mitchell, though I do think I shouldn’t have implied that they have significant issues at safety by stating “secondary” instead of specifically pointing at the “cornerbacks”. I really don’t think Cason is the answer as a starter, and while White is promising, he’s more of a decent CB2. They lack a No. 1 corner, and I think that’s a gaping concern.

      I completely agree that the front seven masks a lot of potential problems in the secondary, as they are absolutely stacked at LB (they have been for quite some time, too) and the defensive line. I don’t think Ealy is a good option for the Panthers, though, because they are already good enough on the defensive line, especially after franchising Hardy with the clear intent of working out a long-term deal. Taking Ealy that high isn’t worth it in case somebody would want to bring up “insurance” as an argument.

      • Panther Hines

        Yeah I get it and I agree that they could improve at CB but Munnerlyn didn’t come out of nowhere last year, the completion of the d line did. Remember, he only signed a 1 year deal with the Panthers last year bc nobody else wanted him. I liked him but he’s just avg and thats all is needed to be competitive. As far as Ealy goes, the Giants and Gettleman drafted JPP when they had Tuck, Osi and Kiwanuka in place, the pick got them a ring. I get what you’re saying, there are def bigger “needs” but taking a strength and ensuring it stays strong for years to come is a solid strategy.

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          The JPP connection totally slipped my mind haha, great point. Gettleman is a draft eval guy through and through, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did bypass need if he likes Ealy enough. He would have to like Ealy an awful lot in order to do that, but it’s at least a possibility worth considering. I wouldn’t do it, but Gettleman could, and they even showed some interest in Eifert last year despite bigger needs and a great TE in Greg Olsen.

          • Panther Hines

            If Star hadn’t fallen to us, I would’ve been on board with Eifert last year too. Cams best passing year was when he had mostly 2 TE sets and its a lot cheaper than having several top notch WRs. I was kinda hoping the Panthers would make a play for a guy like Fred Davis to pair with Olsen and compensate for a lackluster o line and wr corps, it could still happen I suppose. Don’t think he’s signed anywhere…

            Joe, I do have a question for you: what happened to Josh Norman last year? He had an amazing preseason then I’m not sure he ever saw the field again after the Buffalo game? Could he have angered RR so much that he couldn’t even manage to rotate with Melvin White?? Do you know if there is more to it?