The New England Patriots welcomed their top draft pick Monday at Gillette Stadium as defensive lineman Dominique Easley took part in the traditional introductory photo shoot and introduction to the media. The No. 29 pick said he is “real anxious” to be apart of the organization.
As Easley will definitely be a focal point when he enters into his rookie season, the former Florida Gators defensive lineman is ready to work hard for an organization that he has watched throughout the year. He also has to overcome questions about his health. The 6-foot-2, 288-pounder underwent ACL repair on both of his knees, which is a reason why he was available when it came time for the Patriots to make their selection on Thursday night.
This made selecting Easley a risky pick but a pick that can end up paying off in a big way. An explosive pass-rusher, the Patriots newest addition to the defensive side of the ball, has the talent to make an impact. Again it depends on how he is able to hold up physically. He talked to trainers on Monday and discussed the plan of action in preparing him to get on the field “as soon as possible” after his latest ACL repair. In many ways, Easley sounds like he has been a Patriots player for a long time. Perhaps that is because he has followed them for so long.
Easley talked to the media about becoming a Patriot. He said, “I’ve been watching them for years, so it’s a blessing and an honor. I’m going to do everything they ask me to do, and do it to the best ability I can.”
He will be wearing the No. 74 and said there is no significance to the number, but made it clear that “the name makes the jersey.” His positive attitude and work ethic are two of the reasons he was high on the list of head coach Bill Belichick and if he can remain healthy, that same work ethic and commitment to the game should translate to high achievements on the field.