The Patriots had a need at defensive tackle, and they addressed it during round one of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, selecting Florida’s Dominique Easley with the 29th overall pick.


The Patriots added a pass rusher in Dominique Easley Thursday night.
(USA TODAY Images)

One thing you can say about Easley is he’s been a fighter, having battled through ACL tears in both knees. ¬†According to reports from his Pro Day back on April 17th, Easley reportedly looked great just six months removed from surgery from a tear he suffered last September, costing him the final nine games of his senior season.

It didn’t keep New England from taking him, and now they’ve added a guy who will join Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich as a potential pass-rushing threat for a defense that has made some aggressive moves so far this offseason.

Easley, who is listed at 6’2″, 288-pounds, has one word that is used consistently throughout several draft profiles, which is “explosive”. Infusing a player of his caliber into this defense certainly gives New England some ferocity inside, and one would have to think he’ll be able to help guys like Jones and Ninkovich be more effective getting to the quarterback if he can create the type of inside pressure he did in college for Florida.

According to a report in the Orlando Sentinal on Tuesday Easley, who turned 22 last week, has estimated he’s at about 80% in terms of his recovery and expects to be ready to participate when training camp opens in late July.

Back then he said that all of the adversity is behind him, and now he’s only focused on getting back onto the field for his new team.

“I’m only worried about what I’m going to do when I get to the team I’m going to be at,” Easley told the newspaper. “I don’t really pay any attention to that. Everybody knows how I play. Everybody has seen my love for the game. Everybody has seen my passion for it.”

Now he at least knows where he’ll be playing.