Dominique Easley, Defensive Tackle, Florida
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller made a bold prediction, mocking Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley to the Patriots with the 29th selection:
Were it not for two ACL tear—one to each knee-Dominique Easley could be contending with Aaron Donald for the top defensive tackle spot. Once teams saw Easley’s rehab progress, it became clear he wouldn’t last long on draft day.
Much like Tank Carradine last year, Easley can be drafted and stashed on the physically unable to perform list to start the season if need be. But in New England he’s the second coming of Richard Seymour in that he will allow the Patriots to play either a 3-4 or 4-3 front without bringing him off of the field. His athleticism—as long as it comes back post surgery—is eye-opening for a man his size.
While I agree that Easley has the potential to be a solid contributor due to his skill set and athleticism, it seems to be a long shot that Easley will go in the first round.
Usually, a single ACL tear would put a small red flag by a player’s name on a draft board. Easley has torn the ACL in both of his knees, which means that he likely won’t get a look until late in the second round at the earliest.
While Easley has potential, there are too many question marks around him as to whether he can return to the playing level that he had reached before two serious knee injuries.