Kony Ealy   DE   Missouri

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
Kony is a natural pass rusher with excellent burst off the line. He has long length with long strides that get him into the backfield pressuring the quarterback in three strides or less. He has long arms that can knock down passes when he is stopped at the line of scrimmage. He is very quick out in space and very hard to defend against when he is used in a wide formation on the line of scrimmage on third and long downs. He has the size to be used in multiple formations along the front four inside or outside. Kony has the potential to be an impact pass rusher at the next level, but like any pass rusher, he has to learn how to use that natural ability to take full advantage of his talent. His talent is obvious, but it takes more than talent to be successful at the next level.

CONCERNS
Kony plays the run like a cadaver lying flat on the table in a morgue waiting for an autopsy to be performed. Most running backs pass him by or break his tackles with ease. Kony has so much to learn when using his hands when pass rushing also. He shows a lack of maturity in techniques that is shocking at this point of his career. Kony lacks football intelligence and struggles to identify the ball in the backfield. He is easily blocked by running backs and tight ends on running plays and this year showed no improvement from game to game in defending against the run. He is used inside on passing downs on stunts and is effective, but doesnít fight through double teams to make more of an impact. He must get stronger in his upper body, learn to shock and shed his opponent and make tackles in the hole, learn better pass rushing moves and how to set up his opponent, strengthen his mental stamina, not tap out of the game in the red zone on third and long downs, stuff the run when used inside, make sure tackles, be insulted when he is taken out of a game and, in general mature on the field in all aspects of his game. If he can do all of that, Kony will be a franchise Defensive lineman for the team that drafts him.

BOTTOM LINE
Drafting players in the first round to me, is all about taking calculated risks in drafting potential and drafting players with a short length to impact ratio. Kony hasnít shown the improvement from game to game at the college level and that sends a signal to me that he will struggle until he understands that not improving from game to game at the next level is unacceptable if you expect to be drafted in the first round. If I were in a position to draft Kony, I would not risk my credibility and job selecting him in the first round and that makes me think that the GM or Head Coach that drafts Kony in the first round will not be around to see him reach his full potential. He has first round talent, but his lack of improvement in every aspect of his game at the college level tells me that his intangibles do not match up with his athletic talent. That makes him a better second round selection than a first round selection in my book.

Drew Boylhart
FEB/2014