SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2013, and we’re not stopping until we get to No. 1. I know you’ll agree with every single one…
No.15 Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri (JR)
2013 stats: 43 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 14 QB hurries, 3 FF
Why he’s No. 15: Michael Sam was the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year, but Kony Ealy was just as good down the stretch run of the season. And I would argue he has more pure upside than every other SEC defensive lineman not named Jadeveon Clowney.
Ealy finished third in the SEC with 14.5 tackles for loss, and he finished tied for third with 9.5 sacks. His three forced fumbles put him tied for second in the SEC, trailing only Vanderbilt’s Kenny Ladler.
His 6-5, 275-pound frame has enormous potential, and he has a quick first step. Ealy’s greatest asset in 2013 was that he became stronger as the season progressed. Yes, he may be far from the finished product, but aside from Clowney, there wasn’t another defensive end who had as much potential as Ealy.
Ealy is a tremendous competitor who possesses elite ability. He’s a good run defender, but he excels as a pass rusher. One NFL team will fall in love with Ealy in this year’s NFL Draft. He should be a first-round pick.
Top 25 player rankings:
- No. 16: South Carolina DT Kelcy Quarles
- No. 17: Missouri RB Henry Josey
- No. 18: Alabama QB AJ McCarron
- No. 19: South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
- No. 20: LSU WR Jarvis Landry
- No. 21: Ole Miss DB Cody Prewitt
- No. 22: Missouri CB EJ Gaines
- No. 23: Georgia LB Ramik Wilson
- No. 24: Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham
- No. 25: LSU QB Zach Mettenberger
Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports