Patriots Draft Analysis

The first night of the 2014 NFL draft had its share of upsets and surprises, including a risky but smart pick by New England.

With the 29th overall first round pick, the Patriots selected defensive tackle Dominique Easley. Bill Belichick is no stranger to risky picks and Easley has definitely been on his radar this offseason.

While the defensive end suffered a torn ACL twice in his collegiate career, he could be one of the most disruptive and versatile lineman in this year's draft, according to many NFL scouts. If not for his injuries, the defensive player could have been selected in the top ten in the first round.

Cleared both at the Combine recheck and during his April pro day, Easley should be ready to play this September. Although depending on the health of Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, he may not start immediately. Most of his action may be on third down on passing situations, which is a major need for the Patriots. The biggest weakness on defense for New England in the last four season has been getting off the field on third down. Easley can only help the Patriots in this area if he can stay on the field.

His adaptability on defensive positioning on either the defensive end three-and-one-technique or defensive end five-technique also makes him a perfect fit on a Belichick defense. The 49ers and Seahawks were also reported to have interest in the 6-foot-2 Florida tackler.

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