On March 10th, 2017 the New England Patriots acquired Defensive End Kony Ealy in a trade with the Carolina Panthers on March 10th, 2017. The full trade consisted of Ealy and Carolina’s 2017 3rd round draft pick for New England’s 2017 2nd round draft pick. Now that the Patriots have Kony Ealy, let’s give some background on him.
In High School, Ealy was a dominant presence on both sides of the football. As a junior at New Madrid County Central High School in New Madrid, Missouri, he made 89 tackles, 31 for loss of yardage, and 10.5 sacks. On offense, he caught 22 passes for 501 yards and 3 touchdown receptions. His senior season, he was a first-team All-state, All-conference, All-region and All-district selection. He finished his senior season with 104 tackles, 28 for loss of yardage, and 12.5 sacks.
After high school, Ealy decided to play college football for the University of Missouri. He played for the Tigers for three seasons, from 2010-2013. Ealy red-shirted as a freshman in 2010. In 2011, he appeared in 12 games while recording 13 tackles, 3 of them for a loss, along with a sack. In 2012, he started 10 games for the Tigers, where he recorded 37 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss, with also 3.5 sacks. In 2013, he started all 14 games, setting a new career high in tackles with 43, 14.5 tackles for loss of yardage, and 9.5 sacks. He also intercepted a pass which he returned 49 yards for a TD against Indiana. He was named first team All-SEC.
In 2014, Ealy was drafted in the 2nd round with the 60th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers. His deal was reported for 4 years and 3.55 million dollars. Ealy had a decent career with the Panthers from 2014-2016. In his three-year career, Ealy totaled 42 total tackles, 34 assist tackles, 14 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception. He also made a Super Bowl appearance with the Panthers in 2015 where he arguably had his best performance. In Super Bowl 50, he tied the Super Bowl record and a Panthers postseason game record with 3 sacks. He also recorded a fumble recovery and an interception in the game as well. His 3 sacks tied Reggie White and Darnell Dockett for most sacks in a Super Bowl game.
Ealy seems to be learning the “Patriot Way” very quickly.
Later on in his press conference when asked about his role with the Patriots, he was quoted to say this:
His length and versatility will be of great value to the Patriots. Along with players like Trey Flowers, Alan Branch, and Malcom Brown, this Patriots defense can potentially create nightmares for offensive coordinators and offensive line coaches around the NFL as the Patriots defend their 2016 Super Bowl Title.