Easley is an undersized (6-foot-2, 288-pound) defensive tackle with athletic ability to penetrate in both run and pass defense. He also tore the ACL in each of his knees over the course of the last three years. He played in just three games last fall for the Gators due to the second ACL tear, one that kept Easley from working out this spring when the Patriots held a workout with various Florida players. Still, Belichick was clearly impressed with the type of disruptive play that Easley showed when healthy in Gainesville. "He's a very disruptive player," Belichick said. "Very explosive. He's smart, instinctive and has a great motor. There's not much to not like about him." Belichick also downplayed any concerns he might have about Easley's current and pass ACL issues. "When he gets up here we'll work with him and see where he's at," Belichick added. "We feel like he'll be all right." - The Sports Xchange
05/12/2014 - A closer look at the Patriots' picks: Round 1/29 - Dominique Easley, DT, 6-2, 288, Florida...The Patriots stayed put in the first round for the first time in three years and went after a talented, athletic Gator with a perceived upside and a very real injury history. Easley is a disruptive force when healthy but is coming off a torn ACL that cost him all but three games in his final season at Florida after coming back from a torn ACL in his other knee two years ago. - The Sports Xchange
05/12/2014 - Patriots stay put, take undersized, injured DT...Easley downplayed his ACL to some degree, though he wouldn't specifically say how close he felt he was to being nearly 100-percent. "I'm healthy," Easley said. "I'm just ready to get up there and do whatever Coach (Bill) Belichick needs me to do." Easley joins a Patriots defensively tackle depth chart that includes Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork and veteran Tommy Kelly as well as Armond Armstead, Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones and Joe Vellano. Wilfork (Achilles) and Kelly (ACL) are both returning from major injuries that forced the group of younger players to step up last year in the veterans' absence. When he's healthy, Easley will certainly be expected to compete for playing time with the veterans, and he's certainly looking forward to working with Wilfork as a mentor. "It's going to be a great experience, to get to learn from an old guy, a veteran that's real good," Easley said of New England's defensive co-captain. "He'll teach me some stuff. It's going to be real exciting to learn from him."
Taking an optimistic look at New England's top pick, some believe Easley would have been a top-10 prospect were it not for his ACL issues. Of course the flipside of that sees him as a guy with a history of multiple major knee injuries who's going to be expected to serve as depth at a position in New England that's already littered with damaged defensive tackles. Belichick took a chance on a player he felt was simply too good to pass up. And Easley expecting to prove his new coach right. "I was real excited when I saw the Massachusetts number come up on my phone," Easley said. "I've been watching the Patriots for a long time. It's a winning team so I'm real excited." - The Sports Xchange
05/08/2014 - 2014 DRAFT SCOUT FINAL TOP 100: 58/6. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida, 6-2, 288, 4.93, 2...If health weren't a concern, Easley might be discussed as a potential top-10 pick, according the NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler. But after two ACL tears, both on non-contact plays, durability is a major red flag. He came back from a left ACL in 2011, then blew out his right ACL last September. A healthy Easley has exceptional get-off quickness, constantly playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Frankly: Buyer beware. In a draft awash with talent, some team will really need to have a special feeling for Easley to spend a high pick based on potential not attained due to multiple, non-contact injuries. - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com
05/06/2014 - Dane Brugler's 2014 NFL Draft Final Top-50: 33. Dominique Easley DT, Florida (6-2, 288, 4.93, SR)...Easley has battled several injuries over his career, most recently an ACL that sidelined him for most of 2013. But when healthy, he has a sudden first step to attack gaps before blockers can set up with the natural athleticism to track and finish at the ballcarrier. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/29/2014 - Five players who should be on Dallas' draft radar: DT Dominique Easley, Florida: Dallas signed Henry Melton to help the interior pass rush, but the Cowboys aren't done adding to the defensive tackle arsenal. Easley is a prospect who without the injury concerns, would be talked about in the same breath as Aaron Donald in the top-15 picks. But two non-contact ACL injuries, one to each knee, have clouded his draft and NFL future. Easley tore his left ACL in 2011 and his right ACL last September and just recently declared himself 100% healthy. He lacks ideal size/length/strength dimensions, but is able to be highly disruptive with is first step burst and snap reaction to penetrate the backfield and create interior pressure. Easley could go anywhere from the second round to the later rounds, depending on how comfortable teams are with his durability. But if he's healthy now, Easley is worth the risk and would be a good value for Dallas in the second round. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/03/2014 - Week 3 Pro Days takeaways: Michael Sam shows improvement...5. For players unable to perform at the Combine due to injury, Pro Days are especially important. Utah's versatile edge rusher Trevor Reilly helped prove that he has successfully recovered from surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus by starring during his school's workout March 19. The 6-foot-4, 244 pound outside linebacker was clocked at 4.66 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- a better time than every similarly built linebacker tested at the Combine other than Buffalo's Khalil Mack. While Reilly helped restore his draft stock by confirming his health, Notre Dame's Stephon Tuitt and Florida's Dominique Easley were not as fortunate. Tuitt was forced to watch his former Irish teammates work out March 20 while wearing a boot to protect his foot, for which he recently underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture. Easley didn't yet feel ready to compete at Florida's March 17 Pro Day due to his recovery from a torn ACL and meniscus suffered in September. His former head coach, Will Muschamp, said that Easley may be able to work out for scouts on April 18. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
03/26/2014 - 2014 Pro Days: Roberson, Purifoy still slow at soggy Florida workout...Unfortunately, defensive tackle Dominique Easley did not work out. Muschamp later told the media that it is possible that Easley will work out April 18. Easley is recovering from a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee, injuries which occurred during practice in late September. When healthy, the 6-2, 288 pounder shows great burst to penetrate gaps and entered the 2013 season rated higher by many than either Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald or Arizona State's Will Sutton, two similarly undersized interior defensive linemen. Unfortunately, Easley has struggled to remain healthy. Easley also tore the ACL in his left knee in November, 2011. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 54. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida, 6-2, 285, 4.93, 2...If health weren't a concern, Easley might be discussed as a potential top-10 pick, according the NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler. But after two ACL tears, both on non-contact plays, durability is a major red flag. He came back from a left ACL in 2011, then blew out his right ACL last September. A healthy Easley has exceptional get-off quickness, constantly playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
02/19/2014 - 2014 NFL Combine: 10 prospects with the most to gain/lose: 3. DT Dominique Easley, Florida...If health wasn't a concern, Easley would be talked about as a potential top-10 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. But after two ACL tears, both on non-contact plays, the long-term durability is a red flag that could knock him into the third day on draft weekend. Easley has exceptional get-off quickness to be in the backfield before the center sets up shop, constantly playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. But after the doctors and trainers are done poking and prodding, their medical report on Easley will likely be the determining factor in his draft projection. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
10/01/2013 - Florida head coach Will Muschamp announced on Monday that senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley will enter the 2014 NFL Draft and not apply for a medical redshirt. The Gators defender injured his right knee during non-contact practice last week and will need season-ending surgery to repair his ACL and medial meniscus.
Despite an uncertain future due to his rehab, this isn't a surprise as most expected Easley to go pro after this season. He had surgery on his left knee in 2011 so Easley is fully aware of the healing process and what he needs to do to get healthy. A projected first round pick prior to the injury, it's still too early to know if he will be able to work out for NFL teams prior to the draft on May 8. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
10/01/2013 - Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last week, will enter the NFL draft. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior from Staten Island, N.Y., could apply for a medical redshirt and receive another year of college eligibility. But coach Will Muschamp said Monday that Easley "is definitely going to the NFL next year."
One of the most disruptive linemen in the Southeastern Conference, Easley tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus in his right knee during practice last Tuesday. He tore the ACL in his left knee in November 2011. Those injuries could be cause for concern among NFL teams, but Muschamp said the next level is "the best move for him right now."
"He'll have plenty of interest," Muschamp said. "He'll be a productive guy on the next level. He's a really good football player. He's extremely intelligent. He gets the game. His tape speaks for itself and how he plays the game and approaches the game. He'll be fine. There will be a lot of organizations that want him in their organization." Easley finished his college career with 72 tackles, including 18 for loss, and 5 ?? sacks. - AP Sports
09/30/2013 - Florida DT Easley to turn pro...Injured defensive tackle Dominique Easley played his last snap for the University of Florida. The senior will enter the 2014 NFL Draft rather than applying for a medical redshirt season. "He'll have plenty of interest," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "He'll be a productive guy on the next level. He's a really good football player. He's extremely intelligent. He gets the game. His tape speaks for itself and how he plays the game and approaches the game. He'll be fine."
Easley, a 285-pound three-technique tackle, tore the medial meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in practice Sept. 24. He had surgery to repair his left ACL in 2011. NFLDraftScout.com's fourth-ranked defensive tackle for 2014, Easley is ranked 29th overall and could raise his standing by proving his health during the pre-draft process. Draft analyst Dane Brugler said "He has an explosive first step and is extremely fluid for his size, showing lateral burst to attack gaps and win angles. Easley is a tough, high motor kid and forces the issue with his penetration, making an impact even if he doesn't get the sack or tackle. He is a high character person with a strong work ethic so if anyone can return from an injury like this, it's him. - The Sports Xchange
09/26/2013 - Out for season, Dominique Easley's status as a first-round pick takes hit...A season-ending knee injury to Florida senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley is an unfortunate turn of events for a player who was considered a first-round draft pick in 2014. Easley entered the day ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3 defensive tackle for the 2014 NFL Draft and the 29th overall prospect in the class. He has an explosive first step and is extremely fluid for his size, showing lateral burst to attack gaps and win angles. Easley is a tough, high motor kid and forces the issue with his penetration, making an impact even if he doesn't get the sack or tackle. He is a high character person with a strong work ethic so if anyone can return from an injury like this, it's him. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
09/26/2013 - Out for season, Dominique Easley's status as a first-round pick takes hit...Easley is currently slotted at No. 32 (Broncos) and No. 19 (Cowboys) in mock drafts by Rob Rang and me, respectively. But with his second ACL tear and 6-8 months of rigorous rehab, his chances of landing in the first round have gone down considerably. "Test results have revealed that he suffered a tear of both his ACL and medial meniscus, which will require season-ending surgery," Gators head coach Will Muschamp said in a statement.
Earlier on Wednesday, Muschamp referred to Easley's injury as a "tweak," but speculation remained, especially after Easley (@MR_ChUcKie_2) posted this cryptic tweet: "thank you for all 4 yrs of sticking with me but god has something else planned for and have no worries #believe
Easley tore the ACL in his left knee in November 2011, but was able to return for the 2012 season. Both of his ACL tears have come on non-contact drills when he planted awkwardly. So the good news is that Easley has experience returning from this type of injury, but it will require surgery and it remains questionable that he will be able to work out prior to the draft. This is, however, an example of one of the positives of the NFL Draft being pushed back to May as it gives a player like Easley more time to rehab in hopes of proving to scouts that he's at full health. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
09/25/2013 - Three days after losing its starting quarterback, No. 20 Florida lost its best defensive player. The Gators will be without disruptive defensive tackle Dominique Easley for the remainder of the season after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus in his right knee during practice on a soggy field Tuesday. Coach Will Muschamp confirmed the news Wednesday, but after first saying Easley "tweaked" his knee and added "we think he'll be fine." Easley, though, made it clear on his Twitter page that he was done for the year. "Gatornation thank you for all of 4 yrs of sticking with me but god has something else planned for and have no worries #believe," Easley wrote.
Losing Easley, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior from Staten Island, N.Y., is a significant setback for a defense that leads the Southeastern Conference in just about every major category, including scoring, rushing and passing. Despite facing constant double teams, Easley had four quarterback hurries and two tackles for loss this season. "I talked to Dominique and the team this afternoon, and we will continue to look for his leadership and experience throughout the season," Muschamp said in a statement. "Watching any of your players go through this is one of the hardest things about being a coach. Obviously, it is hardest on Dominique. We are disappointed for him, but we will be there for him every step of the way through his surgery and rehab process." - AP Sports
09/25/2013 - Easley has four quarterback hurries and two tackles for loss this season. Losing him would be a significant setback for a defense that leads the SEC in just about every major category, including scoring, rushing and passing. "Dominique is a guy that has a great motor, great enthusiasm as you can see on the field," defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. "I think that's a contagious thing. I think he's been very disruptive to many teams in the backfield. He plays the game the way we want guys to play on defense. With all that being said, he's a part of a whole team of guys that I think are playing well and doing things."
Without him, the Gators (2-1, 1-0 SEC) likely would go with junior Leon Orr and senior Damien Jacobs at defensive tackle in Saturday night's game at Kentucky. Easley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in November 2011, but worked his way back to become a disruptive defender last season. He considered leaving school after his junior season, but ultimately decided to come back for one more year in hopes of improving his draft stock and maybe helping Florida get to the SEC championship game.
"He's the best defensive lineman that we have," guard Jon Halapio said. "If we lose Easley, we still have some depth on the defensive line, good people, too. Obviously, it won't be as good as Easley, but to watch any defensive player, anyone on your team go down, it really hurts." If Easley is sidelined for the season, he would become the fifth Florida player to be ruled out for 2013. - AP Sports
09/25/2013 - Muschamp says reported ACL tear for Dominique Easley is a 'tweak'...The loss of the Gators' best defensive lineman, potential All-American and senior leader would obviously be a staggering, staggering blow. But Will Muschamp sounded positive on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, confirming that Easley has "tweaked" his knee and would sit out Wednesday's practice, but adding that "We think he'll be fine."
Less positively, Muschamp also said that the medical staff will still "need more information" before making a final diagnosis and that the Gators are "going thru that process at this time." Even more dispiriting from the Gator standpoint was this tweet from Easley, as shared by Abolverdi (Easley's account is protected): Easley. MT "@MR_ChUcKiE_2: Gatornation thank you for all 4 yrs of sticking with me but god has something else planned and have no worries"
Muschamp said the injury occurred to Easley's right knee during a noncontact drill. Easley tore his left ACL in 2011. Easley would be the second vital Gator to be lost for the season to injury in a matter of days. Starting quarterback Jeff Driskel broke his leg against Tennessee Saturday. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com
09/23/2013 - Despite sloppy play, easy to see NFL talent in SEC showdown...DT Dominique Easley, Florida - The senior is one of the most explosive defensive linemen in the country and continues to show it each week. Although his final stat line wasn't overly impressive (one tackle, zero sacks), Easley was consistently in the Tennessee backfield and forced early throws and overall disruption in the Volunteers' gameplan. He is routinely the first defensive lineman off the ball and uses his lateral quickness and body control to win gaps and angles to make him near impossible to square up for blockers.
He doesn't have elite power for the position, but with his nonstop motor, Easley is a load to handle, whether he lines up inside or outside on the Gators' defensive line. Florida true sophomore defensive end Dante Fowler might have had the best performance of the game, but we'll have to wait another season until he's draft-eligible. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
09/07/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: DT Dominique Easley provided a strong push up the middle with one tackle for loss and three quarterback hurries against Toledo. Easley said he's back to 100 percent after being hobbled with knee problems last season. The Gators will need Easley to keep playing at a high level in an effort to stop Miami's running back, led by talented sophomore Duke Johnson. - The Sports Xchange
08/26/2013 - Florida coach Will Muschamp hinted the Gators could go to 3-4 sets on defense this season, based on personnel. The Gators were primarily a 4-3 team on defense last season. "From the standpoint of personnel, I think the odd-man front fits us very well," Muschamp said. "The thing you've got to have in an odd front, you better have two really good outside linebackers, and I think we do in Ronald Powell and Dante Fowler. You need to have a good nose, and I feel like whether we're in a pass-rush situation, Dominique Easley would play the nose. In (running) situations, Damien Jacobs and Leon Orr would play the nose." - The Sports Xchange
08/26/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL - Dominique Easley, Florida,...Senior who appeared in and started 11 games for the Gators in 2012, after starting 12 games at defensive tackle as a junior...Saw action in six games as a true freshman...Has 67 career tackles, 16.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks, a blocked punt and a fumble recovery. - Florida football
08/21/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2013: DE Dominique Easley, who finished with a team-high four sacks last season, decided to return for his senior season instead of declaring for the NFL draft. Easley could move back inside due to the losses of Sharrif Floyd and Omar Hunter. - The Sports Xchange
08/21/2013 - TOP FLORIDA PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 3. DL Dominique Easley (6-2, 283, 4.93)...While Sharrif Floyd was the obvious star attraction along the Gators' defensive line a season ago, Easley showed signs of recapturing the athleticism that led to his ranking as the No. 2 overall DT prospect as a prep by some recruiting services.
Easley saw limited action as a freshman in 2009 (four tackles) but emerged as a 12-game starter in his second season in Gainesville, posting 37 tackles, including 7.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. He suffered a torn ACL in the regular season finale against Florida State, however. Easley proved a quick-healer by coming back to start 11 games in 2012 and showed versatility, lining up at defensive end. Easley's tackle numbers dropped overall (26) but he finished with more big plays (8.5 for loss, team-leading four sacks), including 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the Sugar Bowl loss.
Florida primarily ran a 4-3 last year but will be using more three-man fronts in 2013. When they run a 3-4 front in passing situations, Easley is expected to take snaps at nose guard, where his quickness makes him a breakout candidate for 2013. He'll be another year removed from the ACL tear could be even quicker, which is a scary thought for SEC opponents as Easley's explosiveness off the ball is among the best in the conference. He also has quick, active hands to slap away blockers and is able to hold up well against the run at this level due to good core strength. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
07/25/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): DL - Dominique Easley, Florida (162)...Easley, a senior from Staten Island, N.Y., has played in 29 games with 23 starts in his career. He has totaled 67 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks in his three seasons in Gainesville. Last season, he led UF with four sacks. He has been named to watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy. - Florida football
07/17/2013 - 2013 LOMBARDI AWARD WATCH LIST: DT Dominique Easley, Florida...Easley has played in 29 games with 23 starts in his career. He has totaled 67 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks in his three seasons in Gainesville. Last season, he led UF with four sacks. - Florida football
07/16/2013 - Here's a quote that shouldn't sit well with either Florida or Louisville fans. While speaking to reporters during Tuesday's SEC media days, Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley offered up a reason why the Gators lost 33-23 to Louisville in last season's Sugar Bowl. "We took a game off," said Easley.
I can't see how either fan base could be happy about such a comment. On one hand, you're either a Louisville fan who is hearing a player diminish your team's accomplishment on a huge stage, or you're a Florida fan who just heard one of your team's players say the team didn't even try to win the game. As to whether or not Easley is being serious or just offering an excuse, there's no question that Louisville came out for that Sugar Bowl and played like the much better team. The final score may have been 33-23, but the Cardinals built a 33-10 lead halfway through the fourth quarter before Florida tacked on a couple of cosmetic touchdowns.
All that said, I don't get why Easley would so freely admit that he or the team didn't try to win the game. Frankly, I'd rather just say I got my butt kicked than say I didn't try or care. Because if you don't care, what the hell are you doing there in the first place? - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com
07/12/2013 - 2013 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST: Dominique Easley, Florida, DL...Easley has played in 29 games with 23 starts in his career. He has totaled 67 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks in his three seasons in Gainesville. Last season, he led UF with four sacks. - Florida football
07/12/2013 - 2013 BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: DT Dominique Easley, Florida...Easley, a senior from Staten Island, N.Y., has played in 29 games with 23 starts in his career. He has totaled 67 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks in his three seasons in Gainesville. Last season, he led UF with four sacks. - Florida football
07/12/2013 - 2013 OUTLAND TROPHY WATCH LIST: Dominique Easley, Florida, DT...Easley, a senior from Staten Island, N.Y., has played in 29 games with 23 starts in his career. He has totaled 67 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks in his three seasons in Gainesville. Last season, he led UF with four sacks. - Florida football