Pat Kirwan Has Missouri DE Kony Ealy Going To The Steelers In Latest Mock Draft

The post 2014 NFL Scouting Combine mock drafts of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft continue to role out and the latest one from a major media draftnik has a defensive end going to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 15th overall selection.

In his most recent mock released on Friday, Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports tabs Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy as the Steelers first choice in the May draft.

Kirwan writes:

The Steelers could consider a safety but Clinton-Dix is already gone. Ealy could be in the defensive line rotation as a rookie. Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood are free agents.

As far as Ealy goes, he measured in at the combine at 6’4″ and weighed 273 pounds. In 2013, he registered 9.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss and forced three fumbles. While Kirwan has him going to the Steelers as a defensive end, many scouts believe he’s athletic enough to be a 3-4 outside linebacker. Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network is one of those that believes the Missouri product could indeed make that transition and you can see his breakdown of him in the video below.

Like many tweener-types coming out of college, Ealy could use a little sand in his pants and while he has played some standing up, he most definitely would need some time to learn the outside linebacker position in the Steelers defense.

Personally, I view Ealy more as a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 pass rushing defensive end than I do a 3-4, 5-technique defensive end. Because of that, I think the Steelers should go in a different direction.

Chime in with your thoughts on Ealy below.

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  • 20Stoney

    I see no way the Steelers draft him as a replacement for Keisel and/or Hood.

  • steeltown


  • 20Stoney

    I think Kirwan’s thought process went something like this. Who is a Steelers free agent? What player plays the same position? End of thought process.

  • steeltown

    Yea there is absolutely no way that Ealy is the best player available at 15th overall!

  • DoctorNoah

    Ridiculous. We have serviceable starters and good depth, as long as Hood and Woods are resigned. I’d like an NT and to see McClendon move to DE, but cannot see how we would draft a DE unless immediate plan was to stand him up.

    That being said, JJ was and is undersized, and we may have trouble keeping Worilds, so anyone not named Chris Carter in the pipeline would be good. I’m not the first to suggest moving JJ inside either and maybe a 280lb OLB tweeter is exactly what we need, just not necessarily in the 1st round.

  • Paddy

    I think Pat Kerwan is stupid

  • dgh57

    Does Kirwan even know we run a 3-4 defense?

  • westcoasteeler

    We always draft bpa for our 1st. And someone nice that fits our need. He was looking for some extra clicks with that pick.

  • Asmitty56

    Never take away what a player does well naturally. He doesn’t have the “grown ass man strength” to be a 3-4 5-tech. Early on I’d suggest letting him play with his hand in the dirt as a pass rusher, just because it would have the look of a 4 man front does not mean they can’t hold true to the 3-4 scheme, the 49ers do this a lot with Aldon Smith. Eventually he could learn to stand up and do some work in shallow and flat zone coverage. I would think the Steelers would prefer a bigger body opposite of Jones, than two 245-250 pound OLBs that are not stout against the run. Ealy’s length could do wonders to set the edge. I’ve always thought the Steelers should adopt the hybrid D more often, it would ease the growing pains of taking someone like Ealy or even Aaron Donald.

  • Steelers12328882

    These CBS sports guys are a joke. Anyone notice that Kirwan completely left Darqueze Dennard out of the first round? I like Ealy, but I don’t think the Steelers should address OLB even if he could play in a 3-4.

  • Will Hammer

    I think the steelers might look at a trade down a few spots if someone is willing . The draft is deep and the more picks the better..

  • Rusty Hall

    Can we just agree to draft a player that doesn’t need 2-3 years to learn the position. In the modern NFL you can’t win if your draft picks don’t contribute for 3 years. And once they finally mature into a contributing player, they are in year 4 and depart via free agency. At some point we must question the decision to blindly follow Dick LeBeau’s complicated schemes which limit draft pick productivity in years 1-3.

  • 243546

    Aldon Smith was the comparison I was thinking of. Smith didn’t start as a rookie either. He was a situational pass rusher. There’s also Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples in NY. Most 3-4 teams are getting bigger at OLB, and going with a DE/OLB hybrid.

    I consider Justin Smith to be the best 3-4 DE currently playing in the NFL. Smith was a 6’4″ 268 lb DE when he was drafted 4th overall by the Bengals. That just happened to be Dick LeBeau’s first year as the head coach in Cincinnati. The Bengals transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense that season.

  • PA2AK

    How is he even drafted in the first round? Let alone at #15?!

  • Matt Manzo

    I agree. I stated earlier that we need at least 2 impact players from this draft. Or 1 and 1 impact free agents.

  • CW

    Aaron Donald or Tim Jernigan would be a better fit than Ealy in the Steelers 3-4 defensive end spot. Even Tuitt would be a better natural fit at defensive end and he could be on the board still in the second round when the Steelers pick again.

  • Steve

    Ealy might be a good 3rd round pick. He can play DE or OLB. In the OSU game he dropped into coverage a few times and he likes coming after the QB, something we been lacking

  • Steve

    Ealy is more of an OLB in the NFL with the 3-5 D.

  • Superdriller316

    I have to agree and disagree. I agree that CBS sports guys are a joke. I disagree that the Steelers shouldn’t address OLB. Worilds is ranked second on the top LB free agent list. With the CAP at 133 there are going to be players being over paid all over the place. Worilds will probably go around 8-9 million a year now. I’ve liked what Worilds has done coming in for Woodley but by no means is he worth that kind of money, maybe 6-7 million. So here’s the problem, you keep the oft injured Woodley and Worilds walks in FA, or you over pay for Worilds and cut Woodley with the June 1 tag. Who is behind Jones and Woodley/Worilds? Chris Carter and a bunch of never heard of’s. OLB is the most important position on the defensive side of the ball and this draft isn’t deep at OLB. So, they need to either bring one in via FA or go after one early in the draft. WR and CB are the deepest in this draft and can be had anywhere in the draft.

  • pittsburghjoe

    If we take Ealy, I will rip the poster of Tom Ricketts and Tim Worley off of the wall.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    From what I read i maybe the only guy who likes Ealy…I do not think he is a good fit for us but i think he is a good player.

  • Steelers12328882

    Yep, I think if we lose Worilds we should find a veteran FA to be a backup, and draft an OLB or 2, but I really think CB should be our 1st round pick and if not that position I would like to see WR or TE. I’d draft FS/SS or OL before I’d look at OLB as well.

  • CW

    As a 3-4 DE I don’t like him at all. If they are thinking he can become a OLB then he might be a good fit, but he’ll have to be a conversion project.

    The reality is he looks like a 4-3 Defensive End.

  • shawn

    we definitely need earlier contributions from our 1st/2nd round picks !

  • gene mann

    NO WAY AT 15

  • amye


  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Im sick of this team getting players that dont fit the system because that only means that they wont learn the defense until about three yrs and we need players now we dont have that luxury no more

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If the Steelers were interested there is no way they should draft a project in the 1st.

  • Asmitty56

    Usually you can tell if a guy can play 3-4 DE just by looking at him. Ealy looks awfully thin.

  • 243546

    He didn’t look thin at the combine. If you want another example of another 3-4 DE who was about the same size as Ealy when he entered the league, how about Justin Smith’s team mate, Ray McDonald?

  • Asmitty56

    He was also a 3rd rounder..