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Possible Pick: Florida DT Easley Intriguing Despite Knee Injury

Posted Apr 7, 2014


(Editor’s Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today’s featured player is Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley).

Name: Dominique Easley

Position: Defensive Tackle

College: Florida   

Height/Weight: 6-2 / 288

Age: 22

Honors:  Easley was voted a team captain before his senior season and was a consensus preseason First Team All-SEC selection and found himself on the watch lists for the Lombardi, Bronko Nagurski, Bednarik and Outland Trophy. He was named the team’s Greg See Tenacity Award winner and James W. Kynes Award for mental and physical toughness.

Key stat: Easley’s ACL injury makes him one of the great unknowns in this draft. He tallied just five tackles in three games during his final season with the Gators before he was lost for the year.

Where He’s Projected: Injuries always cloud a player’s draft projection. Some teams are scared of any player who either can’t contribute right away or have question marks about their timetable for return. Other teams, and the Cowboys are closer to this side, tend to accept the risk for a player with a high upside. Easley is probably a second-round pick for teams willing to take a risk, and a third-rounder for teams more cautious.

 How He Helps the Cowboys: A defensive tackle with a motor certainly helps any team, especially one that struggled up front like the Cowboys did. The loss of Jason Hatcher could be offset by the signing of Henry Melton, but he too is coming off an ACL injury. Easley appears to be an impact player who can slide around and play different spots. That versatility is always valued and would be coveted by a Cowboys team looking for depth on the line. 

Scout’s Take: Tore his ACL and MCL in his right knee during a practice in October. Has also had surgery on ACL in left knee in 2011. Is normally a tackle but has played also played some end in his career. Initially quick moves off the snap. Can get some push and penetration. Will hold up block at the point off attack. Fight to beat the low block. Did have a play or two where he got knocked down inside on down block. Showed nice quickness off the swim move. Can be disruptive off the edge. Gets pressure on the move. Will fight down the line of scrimmage. Likes to jump in the gap and be disruptive. Can get around the corner. Relentless effort, hard player to stop when he shoots the gap. Has first step quickness, explosive player that needs to really win on that first step. As an end will chase from the backside. Looks more suited to play as the three in this scheme but has line up as the one some. If knee checks out in late April at the rechecks in Indianapolis, is a player that has to be on the Cowboys radar because of how well he fits this scheme.

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