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The 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft was somewhat disappointing. 90% of the hype surrounded whether or not Jadeveon Clowney would be the no. 1 pick courtesy of Houston. He did not let anyone down, and will have a bright future playing alongside J.J. Watt.
Fast forward to the 29th pick, which belonged to our beloved Patriots. Being the defensive minded coach, Bill spared no expense to bring in some fresh talent at the DT position when they drafted Dominique Easley from Florida. At 6’2″ and 288, Easley will be a good complement to the already strong defensive front line, assuming that he can stay injury free. Coming off of an ACL injury back in September, the Patriots must ensure that they monitor his playing time among other things to make sure that he doesn’t get hurt again.
Easley received a draft grade of 5.37 by NFL.com, which shows that he has the potential to be great but still needs some guidance both on and off the field. Easley was the subject of a police investigation during his time at Florida after being involved in a physical altercation with former Alabama player Reggie Myles. True to Belichick’s nature, he will make sure he puts a stop to this behavior early and make it clear to Easley if he wants to play that he needs to abide by the team’s rules. If this doesn’t happen, Easley will find himself as a free agent and will find it hard to be picked up by another team, especially after his previous injuries led to his place in the draft being much lower then it should have been.
Overall, the NFL draft was nothing short of dramatic. The Patriots know exactly what they are looking for and need to remain focused on improving the depth on both sides of the ball. Belichick will have his hands full this fall, but some of the veterans like Wilfork and Brady should step up and help introduce the new guys to the team.