The 2014 BTB Community Draft continues!
This is our favorite opportunity to interact with our community and allow them some front-page limelight, while simultaneously getting our first in-depth look at several candidates for the draft's first round.
This will be much more than just one community member's idea of how to help out their assigned teams. After each selection is forwarded to me, I will gather all of the pertinent information about this prospect from some of the internet's best draft resources. We will try to highlight the profile's best and worst traits, so that our reader's are highly educated come May 8th when these guys names are called.
To keep things simple, no trades are allowed; I think for a one round exercise that does little to actually project how things are going to turn out. One GM, one team, one pick. Let's get it on!
Draft Pick # 16
Team Name: Dallas Cowboys
GM: Scarlet O
Selection: (DE) Kony Ealy, Missouri
Why the pick:
The Cowboys currently have three defensive ends on the roster: Crawford (0 career sacks), Mincey (2 sacks in 2013: career high 8 sacks in 2011), and Selvie (7 sacks in 2013: career high). The position is also perilously thin, with Tyrone Crawford coming off of an Achilles tendon repair and George Selvie entering the final year of his contract.
Elite defensive ends are only second to franchise quarterbacks in terms of compensation. Nary a defensive end on the Cowboys' roster exists that would force teams to dedicate more than a tackle in pass blocking. While the Tampa-2 base defense stresses penetration from the 3-technique tackle, a pass rushing defensive end is needed to create mismatches along the line of scrimmage.
Ealy possesses prototypical size for a 4-3 defensive end. At his Pro Day, Kony ran the 40-yard sprint in the mid-4.6 range (one report had him posting a personal best 4.57 seconds). He completed the 3-cone drill in 6.83 seconds at the combine. His production ratio was 1.01 throughout his college career, and 1.37 in his final two seasons.
A red-shirt junior, Kony Ealy has the athleticism and size to succeed in the NFL, but needs to refine his technique. A selection possessing great upside as well as filling a position of need, Ealy should be the selection in this scenario.
"@Os__B: Maritn, Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Ealy, Jernigan, or Mosley in the first? No trading down." Gut says comes down to Martin or Ealy.— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) April 10, 2014
Special thanks to Bryan Broaddus for his prompt response and educated opinion.
Other players considered
Zack Martin, OT/G: Due to less than ideal height, arm length, and foot speed, Martin projects best as a guard in the NFL. He would be a solid, safe choice with the 16th selection.
Ha Sean Clinton Dix, FS: He could address the need at free safety the Cowboys have had since the departure of Darren Woodson.
Tim Jernigan: A solid defensive tackle that could play the one-technique as well as the three technique position.
Calvin Pryor: Physical presence in the secondary that is best near the line of scrimmage.
C.J. Mosley: Cerebral inside linebacker that could immediately contribute to the defense.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): None
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): 4-3 Defensive Tackle, 4-3 Defensive End, Middle Linebacker
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): 4-3 Outside Backer, Free Safety, Cornerback, Feature Back, Feature Receiver, Right Tackle, Guard, Left Tackle
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): Quarterback, COP Back, Speed Receiver, Tight End, Center, Strong Safety
-- Drafttek.com ranked #24 Overall, #3 at the position
-- Greg Gabriel, National Football Post: #26 Overall, #3 at the position
Ealy is a fourth-year junior and a two-year starter for the Tigers at left defensive end. Coming out of high school, Ealy was an undersized defensive end (approximately 230 pounds), but was still rated as a 4-star recruit and had offers from schools such as Georgia Tech, Nebraska and Mississippi. Ealy redshirted his first year and was a role player during his second season. As a starter in 2012, he had 37 total tackles including 3.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. This past season, Ealy had a breakout year with 43 total tackles, 9.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. When you take into account the fact that Missouri rotates their defensive linemen, those are outstanding stats. When Ealy is in the game, his athleticism and hustle jump out on tape.
Ealy has good defensive end size at about 6050 - 275 with good arm length. He is a very good athlete with speed, body control and change of direction. He plays fast and looks as if he will run in the 4.68 range. He has excellent snap reaction and a very good first step. As a run defender, Ealy is good. He has the strength and power to hold the point and uses his hands to shed blocks. He makes a lot of pursuit plays and does a fairly good job versus the inside run. While Ealy can be inconsistent versus the outside run, the reason is that he's a bit undisciplined and tends to get caught inside. He needs to play contain better and not allow himself to be hook blocked.
Where Ealy excels is as a pass rusher. He is explosive off the ball and has a variety of moves. He can make a quick step outside and then counter and come back across his opponent's face to get inside pressure. He also has the speed and bend to edge rush, dip his inside shoulder and burst to the quarterback. Ealy's burst off a block to the quarterback is excellent. While he is not a real big guy, he has explosive power through his hips and can bull rush with effectiveness.
Overall, Ealy possesses the integral trait that NFL teams covet: He can rush the passer. He is best suited to play as a 4-3 defensive end, but most of the 3-4 clubs will work him out as a linebacker and if he proves to be able to drop into coverage, he will have high value to those organizations as well. From an athletic viewpoint I see no reason why he can't play on his feet. He has the bend and hip flexibility needed to drop.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #35 overall, #3 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #12 overall, #2 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #17 overall, #2 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #25 overall, #2 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #2 at the position
-- Josh Norris ranked #46 overall, #5 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):
STRENGTHS: Ealy's athleticism jumps off the tape. Operating mostly at RDE for the Tigers, Ealy shows good initial quickness off the snap to force right tackles into respecting his speed rush, but saw time all over the defensive line and even as a stand-up linebacker. He has a quick spin move back to the inside to complement his speed and has developing pass-rush technique, including an over-arm swim and a power slap. Perhaps best of all, Ealy possesses the flexibility to turn the corner efficiently and closes quickly, demonstrating the ability to rip the ball free from the quarterback with a powerful chop or with an explosive collision. Impressive straight-line acceleration for a man of his size. Good recognition to get his hands into passing lanes when he can't get to the quarterback. Times his leap well and long arms and good hand-eye coordination. Undeniable upside.
WEAKNESSES: Ealy is prone to coming off the snap too high, making himself vulnerable to cut blocks and is a more effective pass rusher than run defender, at this time. While possessing the burst and balance to attack off the edge out of the two-point stance, Ealy looks uncomfortable dropping back into coverage and offers minimal experience in this area. Has been surrounded by a lot of talent at Missouri and may struggle early in the NFL if expected to be the star...
COMPARES TO: Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams - Considering that Quinn finished second in the NFL with 19 sacks in 2013, he's a tough comparison for any rookie but there is no denying Ealy's upside. He boasts the length, burst and developing technique that every scout is looking for off the edge. If he continues to develop his game, Pro Bowls are in his future.
'13 Kony Ealy vs Florida
'13 Kony Ealy vs Indiana
Houston, Jadeveon Clowney,
St Louis Rams, Greg Robinson,
Jacksonville Jaguars, Johnny Manziel,
Cleveland Browns, Blake Bortles,
Oakland Raiders, Khalil Mack
Atlanta Falcons, Jake Matthews,
Tampa Bay Bucs, Teddy Bridgewater,
Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Donald
Buffalo Bills, Sammy Watkins
Detroit Lions, Anthony Barr
Tennessee Titans, Justin Gilbert
New York Giants, Taylor Lewan
St. Louis Rams, Mike Evans
Chicago Bears, Darqueze Dennard
Pittsburgh Steelers, Eric Ebron