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While the defensive end crop is not very good in this year’s draft class, they are still a few rookie defensive ends that could make a fantasy impact either this year or at the latest next season.  The less famous of the Missouri defensive ends, ealyKony Ealy, got drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round.  Due to legal troubles of players in front of him, Ealy might get the opportunity to get rotated in and make an impact soon.  I reviewed four of 2013 games against Oklahoma State, Florida, Indiana, and Georgia to get a better feel of the talents and skills that Ealy will bring to the Panthers. 

I see a good overall talent in Ealy, but I do not see a superstar.  The defensive end does a lot of things well, but is not an outstanding player.  Hopefully getting surrounded by the talented front seven of the Panthers will invigorate his game.  The first thing that Ealy can work on is a few pass rushing moves.  The young defensive end throws offensive players out of his way or runs through them, because he doesn’t use swim moves, and/or spin moves. He is raw power and in the NFL, everyone needs more than just natural talent, they need technique.

The defensive end gets initial penetration off the snap and flows down the line quickly with amazing lateral agility.  He does a good job using his arms, balance, and leverage to keep blockers off his body.  Ealy has quick feet and would start rushing from the outside, then dart inside beating his blocker to smash the quarterback.  One of the things that I always look for is a high motor and Ealy has it.  He is always chasing plays down the field. His feisty attitude is noticeable when he uses his arms like clubs knocking any offensive player he can find around and can be seen jarring with most of them after the play.  Ealy makes a habit to get his arms up to disrupt passing lanes and times his jumps well to knock passes down.  In one game, the defensive end tipped the ball to himself and rumbled 49 yards down the field for the touchdown to get his team up early.

Ealy is versatile enough to drop back into a zone in a pinch, but can also anchor his spot on the line of scrimmage forcing the play back inside.  He can also kick inside, lining up at the three gap, to rush the signal caller in long yardage situations.  This rookie could not have gone to a better spot, even though he might have to wait a little to make an impact in 2014.  I like him as one of the first defensive ends off the board in your IDP rookie drafts.

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One Comment

  1. Ealy has a great opportunity to learn how to play the position. I think he can turn into a Hardy type player.


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