Late into Thursday night, the New England Patriots select Dominique Easely with their 29th pick of the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
To the surprise of all, the New England Patriots actually made a first round selection and their choice was Dominique Easley from Florida.
At 6’2″ and 288 pounds, Easely is a defensive lineman that has struggled with injuries throughout his college career as a Gator. He has torn his ACL on both his knees but when healthy, he looks to have the skill set to be in the top tier of players for the Patriots.
His extreme quickness of the snap and a good set of rush moves on the interior is what got him the nod from Belichick. Even though Easley is not the biggest defensive tackle, he makes up for it in power and the use of leverage with good hand placement to defeat much more sizable linemen. He will be a very good rotational player with Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly in New England.
Bill Bellichick stated, when asked about the choice to select Easley:
“He is a versatile guy, played different positions along the defensive line. So we’ll just see how it all comes together here, but glad he was able to last that long. Looking forward to having him.”
Dominique Easley is the first defensive lineman the New England Patriots have selected in the first round since Chandler Jones in 2012 with the 21st pick. He is also the first defensive tackle selected by the Patriots in the 1st round since Vince Wilfork in 2004. Easley now joins Richard Seymoure, Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren and Chandler Jones as the 5th defensive lineman selected by Bill Belichick.
Easely will also be the only player from Florida the Patriots will have on their roster and will probably stay that way given the bad taste still left from Aaron Hernandez.
While on a conference call with the New England Media, Easely was asked if he was surprised to get the call from the Patriots he stated:
“Yes sir i was. I was real excited when i did see the Massachusetts number come up on my phone”
When asked about his injured knee:
“Well I’m healthy, I’m just ready to get up there and do whatever Coach Belichick needs me to do.”