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Possible Pick: Ealy May Be Best Fit For Cowboys' Scheme


(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's featured player is Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy.)

Name:Kony Ealy

Position:Defensive End

College: Missouri   

Height/Weight:6-4 / 273


Honors:Along with Michael Sam, Ealy was part of a pass rush that helped Missouri to the SEC Championship Game and the Cotton Bowl. He started all 14 games for the Tigers and earned a first-team All-SEC selection.

Key stat:Ealy nearly tripled his sack total in his second year as a starter. He managed just 3.5 sacks in his first year as a starter in 2012, but he improved to 9.5 in 2013.

Where He's Projected:Ealy's stock might be dipping just a bit, but only because he was once considered a Top 10 pick and a solid fit for the middle rounds. That might still be the case for Ealy, but he could be more of a lower-first rounder to the higher part of the second. The thing that helps Ealy is the lack of true defensive ends that can play the run, aside from the likely No. 1 overall pick Jadaveon Clowney. Ealy is a good fit for the 4-3 defensive end spot. 

How He Helps the Cowboys:Ealy would be a good scheme fit for the Cowboys because he has the size to play defensive end in the 4-3 but he could also slide inside on pass-rushing downs as a 3-technique rusher. The problem with Ealy to the Cowboys is positioning in the draft. He's probably not the player they would covet at No. 16 and there doesn't seem to be a scenario that has him falling to their second pick at No. 47. If there's a way the Cowboys find a trade to move back in the first round, Ealy could be a good option there. [embedded_ad]

Scout's Take: This is the type of player that can really sharpen the corner. Showed the ability to be disruptive. Knocked the ball out of the quarterbacks hand against Auburn. Played some as a nickel defensive tackle and was quite good at it. Has quickness up the field, split the double team. Had a tackle for loss. Caused a 2nd fumble in the Auburn game that resulted in a touchdown. Will come down hard inside. Showed awareness for the screen. Has some initial quickness off the snap. Got chopped down on a low block against Texas A&M, needs to handle that better with his hands. Will chase the ball, good in space. Can change direction and redirect. Tough battle against  Jake Matthews of A&M. Thought he needed to grab the edge to have a chance. Had a hard time getting away from him. Can knife inside on slant charge. Will use a spin move to free himself. Will dip shoulder and run under the blocker. Will use a rip move to disengage from blocks. Will fall into plays at times. There are times where he doesn't react quickly. Had two sacks against Oklahoma State. When he gets the corner, he can turn it. Did a better job of taking on blockers against Florida. Stayed on his feet. Handled cut block better as well. Can get cut off if he doesn't react quick enough. Showed some shock with his punch, one arm control in against Georgia. Can be explosive at times. Not always on the field, times where he is on the sideline for stretches of plays. There are plays that he will not be in the mix. Hand in the dirt guy and rush. His ability to sharpen the corner off the edge and play inside at tackle gives him some nice position flexibility. Some real thought of getting him bigger and letting him play as that three technique working against guards all day. Would like to see a more consistent player overall but he will flash plays where you can see that he has ability.  -- Bryan Broaddus

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