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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Marcus Easley

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 210 | College: Connecticut
 
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Overview

The former in-state walk-on was seldom used during his first three years in the program. That all changed during the second half of the 2009 season, as Easley had a breakout final campaign after taking over slot receiver duties for his last seven games.

With only five receptions for 104 yards during his first 25 games as a Husky, Easley exploded for 893 yards and eight touchdowns on 48 catches in his final 10 contests. He went on to lead the team in receptions, as his average of 68.69 yards per game placed him fourth in the Big East Conference. He also performed well on the kick coverage team, posting four tackles while causing a fumble.

At Bunnell High School, Easley led the team to a pair of state playoff berths in his final two seasons. He earned first-team All-Conference honors and was named MVP of the Thanksgiving Day game vs. Stratford High. He also earned a pair of letters in basketball, serving as a captain for each squad.

Easley did not see action at Connecticut in 2005 or 2006. He appeared in 10 games in 2007, but managed just one catch for 10 yards. The following season, he started four of the Huskies' first five contests, seeing action in 12 games. But, he caught only four balls for 94 yards.

Easley was not thrown to in the first three games of the 2009 season before going on to register five 100-yard receiving performances in his final nine games, putting together a string of five consecutive contests with at least one touchdown grab.

Analysis

Positives: Has a solidly built frame with room to carry at least another 10 pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness … Runs with a fluid stride and unlike most tall receivers, he has learned to stay lower in his pads to generate better hip snap when trying to elude … Has above average flexibility extending for the high passes and demonstrates the change of direction agility and body control to gain valid yardage after the catch … Relies on his burst to gain an open release vs. a lethargic cornerback and has made great improvement in his stride, as he no longer takes a false step before moving (did this in 2008) … Has that long stride that sneaks up on a defender, showing fine body adjustments to get to the ball … Comes off the ball with good urgency, keeping his pads down and hands extended to prevent from getting rerouted … Generates the suddenness to eat up a cushion and outstanding deep speed to run by the cornerbacks … Creates separation though his ability to maintain stride and generate a second gear after the catch … Has good hip snap and shake to elude and an explosive second gear … Can make even the speedier defender miss with his "juke you out of your socks" agility … In the second level, he is much more effective at getting after and neutralizing the defensive backs, staying low in his pads and taking good angles to gain position … During the course of the 2009 season, you could see that he became more comfortable with his body control and balance, generating better explosion and fluidness in his route progression … A quick learn who has improved his ability to recognize zone coverages and where to settle into the area's soft spots … Has shown good courage working over the middle and once his concentration level improves (hears the defender's feet, at times), he will be an inviting target underneath … Has the short-area quickness to separate and has developed good hand placement to defeat the jam … Now takes sharper angle cuts and uses his long legs to separate after the catch … Knows how to use his body to push off the defender and get open … Does a good job of sinking his hips and coming out of his breaks cleanly … Appears more comfortable now in a football uniform, as he uses his body control and balance to catch and turn with the ball without having to gather in his cuts.

Negatives: Has worked hard to improve his overall strength in 2009, but could use more bulk on his frame … With his quickness, agility, balance and body control, he has the athletic skills to develop, but will need patient coaching to teach him the intricacies of the game … Must work on timing his leaps, as there have been some jump ball opportunities he failed to get to, but he has made steady improvement each week, following the flight of the ball well … Has large, natural hands, but must develop better consistency catching outside his frame rather than letting the ball into his body, as he will revert to body catching rather than extending and plucking the pigskin away from his frame.

Compares To: MILES AUSTIN, Dallas Cowboys -- Easley was rawer than sushi entering the 2009 season, but like Austin he is blessed with exceptional athletic ability, making him a potential second day draft find. With his size and athletic ability, a patient coach could be greatly rewarded. You saw during the course of the 2009 season that he greatly improved his plant-and-drive agility to be crisper in and out of his cuts and he appeared much more comfortable extending for the ball. Few players in this draft have as intriguing array of athletic ability and talent that Easley possesses.

--Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

Started 11 times, including his final seven games, appearing in a total of 35 contests, as Easley finished with 53 receptions for 997 yards (18.81 ypc) and eight touchdowns … Rushed once for 11 yards and recorded four tackles (3 solos) with a forced fumble … His 18.81-yard average rank seventh on the school career-record list … His 893 yards gained receiving in 2009 rank 11th on the Huskies' season-record chart … His eight touchdown catches that year tied for eighth on the school annual record list … His 157 yards receiving vs. West Virginia in 2009 was the 14th-best game total in Connecticut annals and the most by a Husky since Carl Bond totaled 163 yards vs. Hofstra in 1997 … His 88-yard reception vs. West Virginia in 2009 was the fourth-longest catch in school history.

2009 Season

Super Sleeper Team and All-Big East Conference second-team selection by The NFL Draft Report … Played in all 13 games, starting the final seven at the slot receiver position, leading the team with 48 receptions for 893 yards (18.6 ypc) and eight touchdowns … His average of 68.69 yards per game receiving ranked fourth in the conference … Gained at least 100 yards receiving in five contests, as he also had five consecutive games with at least one touchdown grab … Added 11 yards on a rushing attempt and recorded four tackles (3 solos) with a forced fumble.

2008 Season

Started four of the team's first five games at split end, appearing in 12 contests, but caught only four passes for 94 yards … Had two receptions for 52 yards in the season finale vs. Pittsburgh … Added an 18-yard grab vs. Temple and had a 24-yarder vs. Rutgers.

2007 Season

Played in 10 games on special teams and as a backup wide receiver … Played in each of the final eight games … His only reception was a 10-yard catch vs. Maine.

2006 Season

Did not see any game action.

2005 Season

Red-shirted after joining the team as a walk-on.

Injury Report

No major injuries reported.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.43 in the 40-yard dash … 1.53 10-yard dash … 2.52 20-yard dash … 4.60 20-yard shuttle … 11.50 60-yard shuttle … 6.94 three-cone drill … 34-inch vertical jump … 10'3" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times … 32 3/4-inch arm length … 8 1/2-inch hands.

Combine: Did not receive an invitation.

High School

Attended Bunnell (Stratford, Ct.) High School, leading the team to a pair of state playoff berths in his final two seasons … Earned first-team All-Conference honors and was named MVP of the Thanksgiving Day game vs. Stratford High … Also earned a pair of letters in basketball, serving as a captain for each squad.

Personal

Sports Management major … Born Marcus Landon Easley on 11/02/87 … Resides in Stratford, Connecticut.

 
Latest News
04/26/2010 - The Bills needed to add at least one wide receiver after electing not to bring back Terrell Owens and Josh Reed, and landed one in Round 4 in Connecticut's Marcus Easley. The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Easley started just 10 games in college but improved his draft stock with consistent 40-yard dash times for scouts. "We had him at 4.40 on our watches," said Bills scout Tom Roth. "He's not a real juke guy like Roscoe (Parrish) but he's got the strength to break arm tackles and the speed to take it the distance."

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