Dominique Easley DT Minnesota #2
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Size/Athleticism: Lacks ideal height and length. Arms are slightly shorter than ideal for his position. Not the type of guy who can greatly impact passing lanes. Weighed in at 288 at the combine, but it’s tough to believe he played at that weight in 2013 based on how he appears on film—likely added weight in offseason and probably needs to add some more. Has experience lining up as a 3-4 end and three-tech interior lineman in the 4-3 set.
Run Defense: Impressive speed to make plays in pursuit. Swallowed up at the point of attack. Lacks the anchor to hold his ground and can be easily pushed around by road grader offensive linemen. Quick enough off the snap to penetrate the gaps and blow up the play in the backfield.
Pass Rush: A pin-your-ears back and fire full speed ahead type interior pass-rusher. Does a nice job staying low and playing with leverage. Stays low, is exceptionally quick off the snap and delivers a nasty initial punch. Consistently blows up the middle of the line, collapsing the pocket and forcing the quarterback to roll out. Lacks dominant strength but shows violent hand fighting technique and can consistently shed blocks.
Intangibles: Team captain in 2013, but reportedly struggled with maturity issues early in his career. Shows a ton of emotion on the field (usually in a positive way) and acts a little bit crazy pre-snap sometimes (waving arms, playing air drums, etc). He’s definitely emotional and a little crazy on the field, but some coaches will love that.
Durability: Suffered torn ACL in both knees in college, one in 2011 and the other in 2013. Missed time with undisclosed injury in 2012. Got into an altercation with an Alabama player after their game in 2011 outside the stadium.
Comments: I’m admittedly biased towards players with a slightly crazy side who play with consistent positive emotion and relentless effort, and Easley fits that description perfectly. He’s a wild ball of energy from start to finish every game, and while it will lead to some mistakes, it comes from a positive attitude and strong effort. If he can be reined in just a bit, he could further improve his ability to be a disruptive force on the line. But for all the positives Easley brings to the table, the two ACL injuries (in both knees) raise concerns that can’t be overlooked. He’s a first-round talent, but there’s just no way his injury history makes him worth the risk in that range. He may be a Day 2 steal, but the injury history gives him high bust potential.