FOXBORO -- Robert Kraft and the Patriots have long put a premium on bringing good people into the locker room. Last summer, after Aaron Hernandez's arrest, the team's owner said he had been "duped" and that there would be a new emphasis put on the processes to ensure respectable people make up the roster.
With New England's first draft pick since news broke of Hernandez's ugly off-the-field life -- Kraft's 21st since purchasing the team -- the Patriots selected Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley, someone Kraft says is the product of a strong family.
"Being from Staten Island is like another special family that we feel is part of our family, the Andruzzis," Kraft said. "[Former Patriots offensive lineman] Joe's dad was a police captain. And three brothers who are firemen.
"In the same way Dominique's family serves our country. His dad has served two stints overseas, one in Afghanistan, one in Iraq. His older brother David has also been in Iraq. It's a great family. We're honored to have him here."
Kraft said he likes to find "connections" with his team's newest draft picks and he found another with Easley.
"He's connected to same fraternity down in Florida that I was in at Columbia," said Kraft, who joined the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity as an undergrad. "So that makes us brothers together."
Monday's introduction for Easley was brief, but it was clear that Kraft was happy to have him -- and that had done some homework on Easley's fun-loving personality.
"I understand he's a great dancer," Kraft said. "Not that we're looking after sacks to have dances, but you never know. We'll leave that him."