Mizzou

Mizzou’s Kony Ealy Goes To Carolina At #60

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Defensive lineman Kony Ealy #47 of the Missouri Tigers reacts after a sack of quarterback Tyler Murphy #3 of the Florida Gator sduring the game at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Defensive lineman Kony Ealy #47 of the Missouri Tigers reacts after a sack of quarterback Tyler Murphy #3 of the Florida Gator sduring the game at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers have selected defensive end Kony Ealy from Missouri with the 60th overall pick in the second round, a move based on best player available rather than need.

The Panthers led the NFL with 60 sacks last season and have two established starting defensive ends in Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy, the team’s designated franchise player.

The 6-foot-4, 273-pound Ealy started 25 games and had 14 sacks during his three seasons at Missouri. As a senior he had 43 tackles and 9.5 sacks.

The move is a bit of a surprise considering the Panthers had bigger needs at offensive tackle and cornerback.

However, general manager Dave Gettleman said before the draft if there was a “blue goose pass rusher” on the board he wouldn’t hesitate to draft him.

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AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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