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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