In a surprising move, the New England Patriots DID NOT trade out of the first round in the 2014 NFL Draft and instead selected Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley.
Easley is very much a Top 10 talent and if not for injury concerns, could have gone in the Top 5. He’s explosive off the line and can create pressure all along a defensive front. Easley adds a new dimension and a potential game-changer to the Patriots defensive front.
The concern with Easley is his health. While fully recovered now–he received a clean bill of health at the combine–Easley did suffer two ACL tears during his college career. This likely won’t sit right with Patriots fans, but a player with Easley’s talent level would never be available at No. 29 otherwise.
The Patriots can afford to take the risk. The payoff could be huge.