Taking a calculated risk on talented player with a history of injuries, the Patriots selected Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley with the 29th pick in Round One on Thursday night.
Durability is the major concern with Easley, who suffered a right ACL tear in 2013. He also suffered a left ACL tear in 2011. However, if he returns to form, the 6-foot-1, 288-pound Easley would add some youth and explosiveness to a Patriots defensive tackle group that has a pair of older regulars in Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.
By taking Easley in Round One, the Patriots can retain his rights for a fifth season should they choose. Considering that he’s coming off of a significant knee injury, Easley’s primary impact could come down the road.
Easley appeared in 32 games for Florida, notching 72 tackles and 5.5 sacks.