Patriots Reportedly Acquire Pass Rusher Kony Ealy In Trade With Panthers

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The New England Patriots lessened their need for pass-rush help Friday when they reportedly acquired a veteran defensive end from the Carolina Panthers.

The Patriots traded their second-round pick (64th overall) to the Panthers in exchange for Kony Ealy and a third-round selection (72nd overall), sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday. There’s only an eight-pick difference between the swapped selections.

Ealy, 25, had five sacks, 32 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception in 2016. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound edge defender has 14 career sacks in three seasons after being selected by the Panthers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s entering the final year of his rookie contract and is on the books for just $903,000.

Ealy was the Panthers’ top performer in their Super Bowl 50 loss to the Denver Broncos, when he had three sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Here’s an update on the Patriots’ 2017 draft picks.

First round, 32nd overall
Third round, 72nd overall
Third round, 96th overall
Third round, 103rd overall
Fifth round, 163rd overall
Fifth round, 183rd overall
Sixth round, 200th overall
Seventh round, 239th overall

Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images

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