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Kony Montoy Ealy (born December 21, 1991) is an American football defensive end who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Missouri and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Kony Ealy
refer to caption
Ealy with the New York Jets in 2017
Free agent
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1991-12-21) December 21, 1991 (age 27)
Morganton, North Carolina
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:275 lb (125 kg)
Career information
High school:New Madrid County Central
(New Madrid, Missouri)
College:Missouri
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 2 / Pick: 60
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2018
Total tackles:91
Sacks:15.0
Forced fumbles:6
Fumble recoveries:2
Interceptions:2
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Contents

High schoolEdit

Ealy attended New Madrid County Central in New Madrid, Missouri, where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track. In football, he notched 89 tackles, including 31 tackles for loss, and 10.5 quarterback sacks while adding 21 quarterback hurries in his junior season; on offense, he caught 22 passes for 501 yards and 3 touchdowns.

He was a first-team All-state, All-conference, All-region and All-district selection as a senior, after he amassed 104 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, 31 quarterback pressures, 5 forced fumbles, 7 pass break ups, 4 blocked kicks. He was also a standout in basketball, where he earned All-state, and numerous All-district, All-region and All-conference honors.[1]

Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Ealy was rated as the 11th best weakside defensive end prospect of his class.[2]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Kony Ealy
DE
New Madrid, Missouri New Madrid County Central High School 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 230 lb (100 kg) 4.65 Feb 3, 2010 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 78
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 13 (DE)   Rivals: 11 (DE), 3 (MO)  ESPN: 49 (DE)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "Missouri Football Commitment List (23)". Rivals.com. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  • "2010 Missouri College Football Recruiting Commits". Scout.com. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  • "ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  • "2010 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved August 29, 2014.

College careerEdit

Ealy accepted a football scholarship from the University of Missouri. In 2010, he was redshirted as a true freshman. In 2011, Ealy earned a back-up role, recording 13 tackles, one sack, and three tackles for loss in 12 games. He made his first career start at Baylor. During the Independence Bowl against North Carolina, Ealy recorded 2 tackles, including a half-tackle for loss. He was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.

In 2012, he started 10 games for the Tigers, recording 37 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and 7 pass break-ups, and 5 quarterback pressures. In 2013, he started all 14 games, setting a new career high in tackles with 43, tackles for loss with 14.5, and sacks with 9.5, while forcing three fumbles and intercepting one pass which he returned 49 yards for a touchdown against Indiana. For his play, Ealy was named to the first team All-SEC.

Ealy announced on January 3, 2014 that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.[3]

Professional careerEdit

As a sophomore the year before, Ealy was given a third round grade by the NFL Draft Advisory Board, which is typically conservative when projecting the draft positions of underclassmen.[4][5] Following his breakout junior campaign, Ealy was a projected first round pick by numerous outlets, including the Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman,[6] with some projecting him as a potential top 10 selection.[7][8][9] His combination of length, athleticism, and versatility drew comparisons to players including Robert Quinn, Michael Bennett, and Chandler Jones.[8][10] Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones noted after the 2014 NFL Draft that had the Cowboys not traded the number 47 overall selection in a deal to move up to select Boise State defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, they would have used that pick to draft Ealy, whom they regarded as an immediate starter.[11]

Ealy was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round (60th overall) pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 4 in
(1.93 m)
273 lb
(124 kg)
34 14 in
(0.87 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.69 s 1.69 s 2.75 s 4.45 s 6.83 s 32 in
(0.81 m)
10 ft 0 in
(3.05 m)
22 reps
All values from NFL Combine[12] or Missouri Pro Day[7]

Carolina PanthersEdit

2014 seasonEdit

 
Ealy with the Carolina Panthers in 2014

On May 29, 2014, Ealy signed a four-year $3.55 million deal.[13] Per Pro Football Focus, Ealy was one of the highest-graded run defenders of the NFL in the preseason.[14] He made his NFL debut performance in week 2 when the Panthers defeated the Detroit Lions in a 24-7 victory.[15] In their week 8 matchup against the defending champion Seattle Seahawks, Ealy had his best game of the season with two solo tackles and the first sack of his NFL career against Russell Wilson.[16] In their week 14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ealy recorded his 2nd career NFL sack against Josh McCown. Ealy followed this up with another sack of Brian Hoyer during the Panthers week 15 win over the Cleveland Browns, beating Joe Thomas.[17] On December 23, 2014, Ealy was named to Sports Illustrated All-Rookie Team.[18] During the final game of the season, Ealy recorded a sack on Atlanta quarterback, Matt Ryan, recording a sack in each of the final three games of his rookie season. Over the final four games of the season, Ealy also recorded nine QB pressures to double his total over any other four game segment of his rookie season.[19] Ealy finished his rookie season with 12 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. He was named to the Sports Illustrated All-Rookie Team of 2014.

2015 seasonEdit

Ealy's development continued through the 2015 preseason where he recorded 2 sacks and was named a full-time starter opposite to Charles Johnson.[20] During the Panthers Week 2 victory over the Houston Texans, Ealy recorded his first quarterback pressure of the year.[21] During the Panthers week 4 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ealy recorded a career-high five tackles, 1 TFL, and a QB hit.[22] During the Panthers victory over the Indianopolis Colts during week 7, Ealy recorded his first strip sack of the season against quarterback Andrew Luck.[23] During the Panthers 37-29 victory over the Green Bay Packers that helped the Panthers move to 8-0 in the first time in franchise history, Ealy recorded a strip sack for the second consecutive week against quarterback Aaron Rodgers.[24] Ealy managed 10 quarterback pressures through six games, but recorded six over the last two games.[25] The following week, Ealy picked up a sack in his third straight game against Marcus Mariota during the Panthers 27-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans.[26] The next week, during the Panthers 44-16 victory over the Washington Redskins to move them to 10-0, Ealy had his fourth straight game with a sack of quarterback Kirk Cousins and on the same play, recorded a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.[27] During the Panthers 33-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Ealy recorded a sack in his 5th straight game.[28] During Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos, Ealy tied the Super Bowl record and set the Panthers' postseason record with three sacks, accomplishing this in only 23 total snaps. In addition, he recorded an interception and forced fumble in the game.[29] The Panthers lost the Super Bowl by a score of 24–10.[30] Ealy became the first player in Super Bowl history to have an interception and multiple sacks. He was the first player since 1993 to record multiple sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in a postseason game.[31] He tied both Reggie White and Darnell Dockett for the most sacks in a Super Bowl with three.

2016 seasonEdit

In 2016, Ealy played all 16 games, but only started six. He recorded 32 tackles, five sacks, and one interception.

New England PatriotsEdit

On March 10, 2017, Ealy was traded to the New England Patriots along with a third-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft in exchange for New England's 2017 second-round draft pick.[32][33][34] On August 26, 2017, Ealy was waived by the team.[35][36]

New York JetsEdit

On August 27, 2017, Ealy was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets.[37] In the Week 4 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, he recorded his second interception after batting down a pass from quarterback Blake Bortles.[38]

Dallas CowboysEdit

On April 5, 2018, he signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, who coveted him as a player since the 2014 NFL Draft.[39] He could never distinguish himself in preseason, even after being tried at defensive tackle. He was released on September 1, 2018.[40]

Oakland RaidersEdit

On November 5, 2018, Ealy was signed by the Oakland Raiders.[41] He was released on November 13, 2018.[42] He was re-signed on December 5, 2018.[43]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR
2014 CAR 15 0 12 8 4 4.0 0 0 0 0 -- -- 0 1 0
2015 CAR 16 9 32 15 17 5.0 0 2 0 0 -- -- 0 3 2
2016 CAR 16 6 32 19 13 5.0 0 3 1 7 7.0 7 0 2 0
2017 NYJ 15 4 14 11 3 1.0 0 9 1 9 9.0 9 0 0 0
Total 62 19 90 53 37 15.0 0 14 2 16 8.0 9 0 5 2

PlayoffsEdit

Year Team GP GS Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR
2014-15 CAR 2 0 4 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015-16 CAR 3 1 7 4 3 3.0 0 1 1 19 19.0 19 0 1 1
Total 5 1 11 5 6 3.0 0 1 1 19 19.0 19 0 1 1

Personal lifeEdit

Ealy has two sisters, LaToya Brown and Sierra Jones. Sierra is one-year older than Ealy and suffers from a rare, lifelong chromosome disorder.[44] LaToya died in September 2017.[45]

Ealy is a father of one daughter, Royal, who was born in November 2015.[46]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Ryan Grant Stats | College Football at". Sports-reference.com. January 1, 1970. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  3. ^ "Missouri DE Kony Ealy will enter 2014 NFL Draft". NFL.com. January 4, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Latsch, Nate (December 31, 2013). "Kony Ealy's strong season for Missouri Tigers draws notice from opponents, NFL scouts". FOX Sports. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Panthers' 2nd-Round Pick: Missouri DE Kony Ealy". Blackandbluereview.com. May 9, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "*Kony Ealy | Missouri, DE : 2014 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Nfldraftscout.com. September 21, 2006. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri, NFL Draft - CBSSports.com - NFLDraftScout.com". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  9. ^ Joseph Zucker (January 4, 2014). "Kony Ealy Officially Announces He Will Enter 2014 NFL Draft". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  10. ^ Dinkins, Chad (February 3, 2014). "2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report - Kony Ealy, DE Missouri". Withthefirstpick.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  11. ^ "Cowboys VP: We likely would have drafted Ealy absent trade". NFL.com. May 14, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  12. ^ Nolan Nawrocki (February 13, 2013). "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Kony Ealy". Nfl.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  13. ^ "Kony Ealy Contract Details, Salary Cap Breakdowns, Salaries, Bonuses". Spotrac.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 30, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Kony Ealy Stats, News, Videos, Highlights, Pictures, Bio - Carolina Panthers". Espn.go.com. December 21, 1991. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  16. ^ Brandon Croce (October 26, 2014). "Panthers' Defensive Grades for Week 8 - Nfl - Scout". Profootball.scout.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ Doug Farrar (December 23, 2014). "Best NFL rookies 2014: Teddy Bridgewater, Aaron Donald, more". SI.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  19. ^ Bryan Knowles (May 22, 2015). "5 Carolina Panthers Players Poised for a Breakout Campaign in 2015". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  20. ^ "Panthers coach Rivera says he's found his new defensive end: Kony Ealy". Charlotteobserver.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 3, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Panthers vs. Buccaneers - Box Score - October 4, 2015". Espn.go.com. October 4, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  23. ^ "Indianapolis at Carolina | 2015-11-02 | National Football League | Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  24. ^ "Green Bay at Carolina | 2015-11-08 | National Football League | Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  25. ^ Bryan Strickland (November 12, 2015). "Notes: Ealy picking up pace". Panthers.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  26. ^ "Panthers at Titans: Stats and Superlatives". Blackandbluereview.com. November 15, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  27. ^ "Watch Washington Redskins vs. Carolina Panthers". NFL.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  28. ^ Brinson, Will (November 27, 2015). "Panthers' Kony Ealy: Records sack in fifth straight game". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  29. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). NFL.com. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  30. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers - February 7th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  31. ^ "Kony Ealy's Breakout Game Not Enough for Panthers". Blackandbluereview.com. February 8, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  32. ^ Strickland, Bryan (March 10, 2017). "Panthers trade Kony Ealy to Patriots". Panthers.com.
  33. ^ Sessler, Marc (March 10, 2017). "Carolina Panthers trade DE Kony Ealy to Patriots". NFL.com.
  34. ^ "Patriots acquire WR Brandin Cooks in a trade with New Orleans; Acquire DL Kony Ealy in a trade with Carolina". Patriots.com. March 11, 2017.
  35. ^ "Patriots Release DL Kony Ealy". Patriots.com. August 26, 2017.
  36. ^ Sessler, Marc (August 26, 2017). "Patriots release Kony Ealy". NFL.com.
  37. ^ Allen, Eric (August 27, 2017). "Jets Claim DE Kony Ealy". NewYorkJets.com.
  38. ^ Cimini, Rich (October 1, 2017). "Emotional Kony Ealy receives game ball after difficult week". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  39. ^ Shook, Nick (April 5, 2018). "Cowboys agree to terms with former Jets DE Kony Ealy". NFL.com.
  40. ^ Helman, David (September 1, 2018). "Bailey Not Only Surprise Cut As Cowboys Trim To 53". DallasCowboys.com.
  41. ^ "Raiders sign defensive end Kony Ealy". Raiders.com. November 5, 2018.
  42. ^ "Raiders announce transactions - 11.13.18". Raiders.com. November 13, 2018.
  43. ^ "Raiders announce transactions - 12.5.18". Raiders.com. December 5, 2018.
  44. ^ "NFL 360: Sacks for Sierra with Kony Ealy". Panthers.com. December 27, 2016.
  45. ^ Calvaruso, Tyler (October 1, 2017). "Jets defensive end Kony Ealy gets game ball in wake of sister's death". USAToday.com. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  46. ^ Jones, Jonathan (June 4, 2016). "Carolina Panthers DE Kony Ealy narrows focus to NFL, fatherhood". CharlotteObserver.com. Retrieved December 12, 2017.

External linksEdit