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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Kony Ealy Selected by the Arizona Cardinals

With the 20th overall pick in the 2014 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Arizona GM NCeagle selects ...

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

College Stats:

2013: 42 Tackles, 14 Tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 6 PDs, 3 FFs, 1 INT, 1 TD

2012: 37 Tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 7 PDs, 1 FF

The Arizona Cardinals do not have many glaring needs for 2014. A safety opposite of Tyrann Mathieu is probably the biggest immediate need. But with Haha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor off the board, I did not think going with the next best safety would be good value. The Cardinals could also definitely upgrade the right side of their O-line and QB. Xavier Su’a Filo and Derek Carr were options I considered, but in the end, I did not think the value was good enough. ILB was another option to consider with stud Daryl Washington suspended for 4 games and the loss of Karlos Dansby. However, the Cardinals will also have 2013 2nd round pick Kevin Minter starting opposite of Washington so there was no need to reach for an ILB with Mosley already off the board. CB was another consideration with the Cardinals bringing in Antonio Cromartie as a 1 –year stopgap, but they still have a pretty young CB in Jarraud Powers and this can be addressed later with a decently deep CB class.

Kony Ealy is a mix of BPA and filling a need for me. The Cardinals defense is very good, but they are in an unfortunate position where some players in their front 7 are really getting up there in age. OLB John Abraham is soon to be 36 and DE Darnell Dockett is soon to be 33. With this most likely being both Abraham and Dockett’s last year, Ealy should be able use this year to develop while seeing situational pass rushing snaps. Ealy could turn into a rush-OLB or 3-4 DE but for now I think he is best as a movable chess piece in Todd Bowles’ defense, which likes to use a lot of creative blitzes.

While I can’t say Ealy’s pass coverage is a strength, he has some experience dropping back into a zone but wasn’t ever challenged on the plays I’ve seen him drop back. He has been said to be undisciplined against the run, but he definitely has good pursuit skills. Pass rushing is his best attribute and he has rushed from 2, 3, and 4 point stances. He possesses a great motor, great size, and is very quick and explosive for a box defender (6.83 3 cone time).

As you can see, Ealy was very fast at getting to the QB. He was only behind his teammate Sam and 2013 Clowney (who’s time was only measured on 3 sacks)

Ealy’s is a very good player in his own right, but his versatility in being able to rush from 3-4 OLB, 3-4 DE, 4-3 DE, or 4-3 DT is what makes him the best choice. In the long-term I think Ealy would eventually be a valuable 3-4 DE opposite of Calais Campbell for the Cardinals. He comes into the NFL with very similar measurables to former Texans DE Antonio Smith. Ealy could be a very special player in the NFL with some time. The Cardinals are in a good situation where Ealy can develop for a year before truly honing in on one position. The other 3-4 DE I considered was Ra’shede Hageman, but his age, inconsistency, and lack of great production against weaker teams had me very happy that Ealy dropped to 20.

2014 BGN Mock Draft Order

1 Houston Texans (Imp) - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville - [Explanation]
2 St. Louis Rams (starship 007) - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson - [Explanation]
3 Jacksonville Jaguars (sports00fan00) - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, SC - [Explanation]
4 Cleveland Browns (InHinkieWeTrust) - Johnny Manziel, QB, TAMU - [Explanation]
5 Oakland Raiders (SleepingDuck) - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo - [Explanation]
6 Atlanta Falcons (jimmyrustler) - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn - [Explanation]
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (AnthroEagle) - Blake Bortles, QB, UCF - [Explanation]
8 Minnesota Vikings (pot) - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA - [Explanation]
9 Buffalo Bills (wow4444) - Jake Matthews, OT, TAMU - [Explanation]
10 Detroit Lions (kamjam) - Mike Evans, WR, TAMU - [Explanation]
11 Tennessee Titans (NowWhat?) - Justin Gilbert, CB, OK State - [Explanation]
12 New York Giants (Anthony DiBona) - Eric Ebron, TE, UNC - [Explanation]
13 St. Louis Rams (ILL Eagle) - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama - [Explanation]
14 Chicago Bears (JerkyBoy) - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville - [Explanation]
15 Pittsburgh Steelers (KJ Brophy) - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan - [Explanation]
16 Dallas Cowboys (Patrick Wall) - C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama - [Explanation]
17 Baltimore Ravens (rohan915) - Zack Martin, OT, ND - [Explanation]
18 New York Jets (del.champion) - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State - [Explanation]
19 Miami Dolphins (HD) - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh - [Explanation]
20 Arizona Cardinals (NCeagle) - Kony Ealy, DE, Mizzou - [Explanation]
21 Green Bay Packers (ablesser88) -
22 Philadelphia Eagles (jhn) -
23 Kansas City Chiefs (PeaceVT) -
24 Cincinnati Bengals (deg0ey) -
25 San Diego Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) -
26 Cleveland Browns (P_Roach17) -
27 New Orleans Saints (bebin) -
28 Carolina Panthers (MikeKafka) -
29 New England Patriots (Amateur_Hour) -
30 San Francisco 49ers (AndyMcNabb) -
31 Denver Broncos (dceagles) -
32 Seattle Seahawks (eagles0132) -