The Carolina Panthers used their second round pick on defensive end Kony Ealy, to the surprise of many that believed defensive end wasn’t really a need, though they’re completely wrong. Even before the recent Greg Hardy arrest, Ealy was going to play a big role on the defensive line because of Frank Alexander’s suspension to start the season. However, that role has been unclear.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman recently shed some light about how the team plans to use the former Missouri Tiger this year. “Kony has the ability to be a 4-3 defensive end, obviously, but he’s got the ability to go inside as well, which is huge,” Gettleman said. “John Fox – bringing up a blast from the past – taught me when I was with the Giants that one of the biggest mismatches in the game is those sudden, quick guys against those hog mollies.”
He continued, “Kony is very comfortable in there, He played against his share of big people inside in the SEC, and it was never too big for him. Someone could make the argument that he’s just as productive at the three-technique as he was outside. That has huge value.”
How quickly will he get on the field? “He’s going to be in the rotation really quick,” Gettleman said. “We really vetted him out.”
Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Mike Glennon/Josh McCown can’t be too excited about the prospect of Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson, and Kony Ealy rushing them all at the same time. Panthers fans definitely can be though.