The Panthers have locked up their second-round draft pick.
Carolina announced Thursday the signing of No. 60 overall pick Kony Ealy, who instantly beefs up one of the NFL's stingiest defenses.
The defensive end starred at Missouri, and with his long frame and burst off the snap, Ealy was projected by many draftniks to go in the first round. Though he dropped in the draft, he should contribute to the NFL's best front seven right away, spelling pass rushers Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson.
The 6-5, 275-pound Ealy also provides valuable insurance to Hardy, who is facing a misdemeanor assault charge and is playing on the franchise tag this season.