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2014 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Rumors: Kony Ealy Says He’s The Best Defensive End; Patriots ‘Incredibly High’ on Tom Savage

While all the focus has been on Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack, Kony Ealy believes he’s the top end in the draft but doesn’t want any of the hype.

Kony Ealy
Kony Ealy

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Draft prospects can never be too short on confidence. As is the case with Missouri’s Kony Ealy.

The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year told USA TODAY Sports that he believes he’s the best defensive end in this year’s draft class, one that includes Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack, both of whom are expected to be top-five picks.

“I feel like I’m the best guy in this draft, period,” Ealy said. “And that’s not a cocky thing — that’s just a confidence thing. It’s not just talk. It’s been proven. My numbers show for it. My size and speed and agility show for it. What else can you want?

“There’s no knocking (Clowney). But I’m the best defensive end in this draft. I may not have a whole lot of hype, but I don’t [need] anybody to acknowledge me.”

This isn’t bulletin board material. A few weeks ago, Derek Carr proclaimed himself to be the top quarterback in the draft.

Teams seemingly prefer Clowney and Mack to Ealy, who is projected to be a middle- to late-first round pick. In the XN Sports Mock 2.0, he’s projected to fall 16th to the Dallas Cowboys.

There are rumblings that this is the year the New England Patriots try to find the next Tom Brady, literally. The Pats are reportedly working out a number of quarterbacks in order to find a new backup and potentially Brady’s successor. One such name to keep an eye on is Tom Savage.

According to TFY Draft Insider, New England is “incredibly high” on Savage and “will consider using a pick to acquire the signal caller during the draft.”

Within the organization, Savage is being called “Tom #2.” Savage reportedly impressed the franchise during the NFL Scouting Combine interviews with his maturity. Team that have studied his tape believe he progressed well throughout last season at Pitt and can develop into a good prospect in the pros.

Savage recently declined an invitation to attend the NFL Draft next month in New York City, despite some draft analysts projecting him to come off the board sometime at the top of the second round.

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