2014 NFL Draft: New England Patriots Waste First-Round Pick On Dominique Easley
Well, for once the New England Patriots didn’t trade away their first-round pick, but considering they drafted Dominique Easley, defensive tackle out of Florida, perhaps they should have.
Bill Belichick seems enamored with Florida Gators players and at this point, someone should be questioning his ability to competently draft because the history of Gators in New England is downright dismal.
Aaron Hernandez is in prison. Brandon Spikes compared his four years in New England to slavery. Jermaine Cunningham was cut after three seasons and the immortal Tim Tebow never made the opening day roster. Now they have Easley, who was a projected second or third-round pick at best. Belichick is so caught up in the hype of his own genius, that he thinks he can outwit the NFL Draft.
The pick was a serious overreach for a defensive player who is more injury prone than Rob Gronkowski. In his college career, Easley injured the ACL in his left knee, sprained his meniscus, and was out for almost the entire 2013 season after he ruptured his right ACL and medial meniscus. So, Belichick’s attempt at improving the defensive line was to draft a player who has had both knees surgically repaired? In what world does that make any kind of sense?
Some will argue that it’s all about the potential. Yeah, so were Darius Butler, Patrick Chung, Jonathan Wilhite, Brandon Meriweather, Laurence Maroney and Taylor Price. I say, forget potential and draft actual talent. The pick is mind baffling and head scratching to the point of causing male pattern baldness. Not only are the injuries a concern, but he doesn’t even fit the Patriots defense schematically. He is undersized and is best suited for an aggressive defense. There is nothing aggressive about a Belichick defense. The Patriots have more of a reactionary defense, with the fabled “bend, but don’t break” scheme that gives fans heart attacks and loses Super Bowls.
Vince Wilfork on Twitter, said he was “lovin this pick.” What’s to love? Easley is damaged goods on par with Lindsay Lohan.
It is hard to imagine what the Patriots were thinking with Louis Nix, Timmy Jernigan, Stephon Tuitt, Kony Ealy and Ra’Shede Hageman — who were all ranked ahead of Easley — still available. Even Marqise Lee or Jace Amaro made more sense than Easley.
It seems illogical for anyone two give the Patriots a high grade for drafting a defensive tackle with serious knee injuries in his past. Then again, it seems illogical to waste your first round pick on a reach that could turn out to be the Greg Oden of the NFL and never live up to the alleged potential.
So what was it that prompted the Easley pick? Were the Patriots captivated by his explosive speed and pass rushing abilities? I’m sure that will look awesome for the two games he plays. It should be noted that one of his knee injuries was in a non-contact practice drill, which probably means his knees are going to get shredded like a Julian salad if he ever actually gets hit.
Before the draft, I was reading how Belichick is “unpredictable” when it comes to drafting players and I guess that makes for great headlines and gets you labeled a “genius,” but sometimes being unpredictable is nothing more than a sign of ineptitude. I mean, haven’t we seen this movie before? Drafting an injury plagued player pretending the potential benefits outweigh the risk is how the Patriots wasted the 33rd pick in 2011 by drafting Ras-I Dowling.
“In Belichick we Trust” is a constant refrain that surrounds Patriots fans and it’s one they often use to silence critics, but it’s starting to wear thin, as is the love affair with players from Florida who never work out.
Instead of being conventional, they decided to get clever and have outsmarted themselves, because drafting Easley is an unjustifiable gamble and it’s one the Patriots didn’t need to take.
Power Rankings: Rating the intrigue of each NFL team’s 2015 training camp
Which teams are going to be the most fun to follow during training camp? This week's list breaks it down. Read More
One game that can make or break the year for the Oakland Raiders
Looking at one game that can make or break the season for the Oakland Raiders. Read More
Five potential depth chart shockers for the Oakland Raiders
With a roster like the Raiders, you never know what will happen with the depth chart. Here are five potential surprises that could shake up the depth chart. Read More
Smith, Marshall Growing Relationship Good for Jets
The more Geno Smith and Brandon Marshall build their relationship, the better off the New York Jets will be. Read More
The five most adorable pictures of Drew Brees and his family from this offseason
Drew Brees is a Hall of Fame quarterback. He's also a dad, and a very good one at that. And all offseason, Brees hasn't been posting selfies of himself in the weight room or bragging about what awesome island he's been relaxing on. No, instead, he's bee posting pictures of his family doing normal family things. Read More
5 reasons Terrelle Pryor will thrive after joining the Cleveland Browns
A few weeks back when the Cleveland Browns announced they would sign free agent and former Ohio State standout Terrelle Pryor as a wide receiver, many heads were scratched. Pryor, 26 is entering his fourth season in the league and his first at a position other than quarterback. It wasn’t too long ago that Pryor himself told the media he would never transition into a receiver role because “he can’t catch.” However, Cleveland could be the hotspot for Pryor's success. Read More