The strength of the Los Angeles Rams is the defensive line and that unit got an upgrade on Wednesday.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Rams are taking a one-year flier on defensive tackle Dominique Easley, a former first-round pick of the Patriots.
Easley, drafted 29th overall in the first round of the 2014 draft out of Florida, entered the NFL coming off of multiple ACL surgeries.
He was still considered talented enough to warrant going in the first round though. Easley had a lightening-quick first step in college and was dangerous with New England as well ... when he was healthy.
The defensive tackle missed 10 games with the Pats over the last two seasons, but finished on season-ending injured reserve in both 2014 and 2015 and was waived in April. It's worth questioning what red flags the Pats know about if they were willing to ditch out of his contract early (especially with the fifth-year option available). Easley won't be required to step in and make a difference off the bat for the Rams, however.
They've got a healthy version of Easley in the interior of the defensive line in Defensive Player of the Year candidate Aaron Donald as well as underrated former first-round pick Michael Brockers. In fact, Easley makes a whopping FIVE former first-round picks on the defensive line for L.A. now.
Rams D-line now includes five former 1st-round picks: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn, Quinton Coples, Dominique Easley.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 17, 2016
Nick Fairley's departure during free agency opened up a depth/upside hole for the Rams in the middle of the line, however, and if Easley can manage a full healthy season he's going to make a dangerous unit even more effective.
Banking on his health is banking on something that we haven't see before happening, but there's minimal risk and plenty of upside here for the Rams.