One prospect who may interest the Broncos in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft is former Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy. Ealy, a 6'4 273lb defensive end is a big and athletic defensive end with the pass rushing talent to terrorize Quarterbacks consistently. Kony Ealy is the 34th rated prospect according to CBSSports, and is the 3rd rated Defensive end in the 2014 class.
During Ealy's three-year career at Missouri he totaled 95 tackles, 27 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, 1 interception, 13 pass deflections, and 4 forced fumbles. Ealy's best season came in 2013 when he totaled 42 tackles, 14 for a loss, 8 sacks, 1 interception, 6 pass deflections, and 3 forced fumbles. Ealy was a First-team All-SEC selection after starting in all 14 games in 2013. Ealy also had a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown against Indiana.
Defensive End, Junior, Missouri
Height: 6'4 Weight: 273lbs 40 Time: 4.57(Pro Day)
Arm Length: 34 1/4" Hands: 9 1/2"
Bench Press: 22 reps Vertical Jump: 31 inches
Broad Jump: 114.0 inches 3 Cone Drill: 6.83 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.45 seconds
- Size: Has a long/big frame that is ideal for the NFL, and has room to add bulk
- Athleticism: Ealy is explosive off the snap, and is a loose athlete who moves well for a man of his size. Ealy possesses impressive straight line speed for a 273lb man.
- Pass Rushing Skills: Ealy has a wide array of pass rush moves. He has a quick spin move, an over-arm swin move, and a power slap that knocks lineman off balance. Ealy's best trait is his flexibility to turn the corner efficiently and closes quickly, demonstrating the ability to rip the ball free from the quarterback.
- Swatting: Ealy was credited with 13 pass deflections during his career at Missouri. Ealy times his leap well and with long arms and good hand-eye coordination he can knock down passes.
- Versatile: Ealy can play anywhere along the defensive line, and even lined up at linebacker during his college career.
- Upside: Ealy possess a high upside that will intrigue NFL GM's and coaches.
- High Off The Snap: Ealy's pad level is sometimes too high which makes him prone to cut blocks.
- Weight Room: Needs to spend some more time in the weight room to add some more bulk to fill out his frame.
- Run Defense: Ealy is a much better pass rusher then a run defender. May be limited to situational pass rushing duties early in hi career.
- Double Teams: Ealy has struggled with double teams during his college career. Will need to work on his strength and technique in the pro's.
- Coverage: Ealy struggled when asked to drop back on coverage.
Does Ealy fit with the Broncos?:
I think so.
Even though the Broncos added future Hall Of Famer DeMarcus Ware this offseason, the Broncos could use some depth at defensive end. I say this because while the Broncos pass rush looks great on paper, they all have questions surrounding them. Von Miller is coming off an ACL injury, and may not be 100% at all during the 2014 season(also one mistake away from a year long suspension), Will DeMarcus Ware stay healthy during the 2014 season or will he be bothered by nagging injuries like he did in 2013, will Derek Wolfe be the same player he was before his injury?, and last years fifth round pick Quanterus Smith is still an unknown. The Broncos also lost defensive ends Robert Ayers, Jeremy Mincey and Shaun Phillips to Free Agency this offseason.
The Broncos are in a good spot. They have no real major holes on their roster, and can afford to select a "luxury" pick like Ealy. Adding Ealy would give the Broncos another young pass rusher to groom, and would also give them some depth incase injuries happen to any of their starters.
You can never have too many pass rushers.