Easley’s upside is immense, and he should be a potential playmaker in the Patriots’ defense. (USA TODAY Images)
Selected:¬†Round 1, Pick 29
- Explodes off the ball
- Great use of his hands
- Terrific motor and energy
- Versatile, has played all along the defensive line¬†
- Both knees have required ACL surgery¬†
- Could add some more size and get functionally stronger¬†
- Limited experience in two-gap technique
- Can be overaggressive¬†
“He was a top 30 pick until he tore his ACL in September. He’s quick and explosive. A lot of people felt like he was going to drop because of the ACL. This is a typical Bill Belichick pick. The rest of league discounted talent, but he’ll be in training camp. The Patriots needed defensive linemen and this kid is gifted.” — Mike Mayock
“Undersized, explosive, athletic, high-motor three-technique whose junior season was cut short in Week 3 by a knee injury. Injury history will likely affect his draft stock, but when healthy, he shows the ability to disrupt the backfield and pressure the quarterback. Fits best in an aggressive scheme in which he could use his quickness to slant, stunt and shoot gaps. Medical evaluations will determine draft standing.” — Nolan Nawrocki
“A healthy Easley has exceptional get-off quickness, constantly playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. But buyer beware. In a draft awash with talent, some team will really need to have a special feeling for Easley to spend a high pick based on potential not attained due to multiple, non-contact injuries.” — Rob Rang¬†
Easley is a very good pick for the Patriots. Obviously, his knee injuries are concerning, but his upside is immense. Talent-wise, he is a top ten pick in this year’s draft. Easley has shown great versatility and plays with a tremendous motor. If you liked the way former linebacker Brandon Spikes played, you’ll love Easley’s energy.
With Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly not getting any younger, bringing Easley along in the defense makes sense. If you watch his tape, his hand technique is excellent. He explodes off the ball and can get into the backfield with ease. He will be able to contribute right away.
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