CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers went for the best player available rather than need on the second day of the NFL draft.
The Panthers ignored more pressing needs at offensive tackle and cornerback, instead selecting defensive end Kony Ealy from Missouri in the second round and guard Trai Turner from LSU in the third round.
"You just can't pass up good football players," Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said Friday night.
Gettleman said he had a first-round grade on Ealy and was shocked that he lasted until the 60th pick overall.
The 6-foot-4, 273-pound Ealy started 25 games and had 14 sacks during his three seasons at Missouri. He had 43 tackles and 9.5 sacks last season.
The move is a bit of a surprise considering the Panthers had bigger needs at offensive tackle and cornerback in the second round and have two established starters at defensive end in Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy, the team's designated franchise player.
Carolina led the NFL with 60 sacks last season...