Before CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry look ahead to Day 2 of the NFL Draft, where the Patriots, for now, have a second-round pick (62nd overall) and a third (93rd), they weigh in on first-round selection Dominique Easley of Florida, taken late Thursday night with the 29th pick.
Perry said if there is one word that comes to mind with Easley it is "explosion."
Said Curran: "For me, it's versatility. This player is 288 pounds but [Bill] Belichick pointed out he plays all along the defensive front. Kind of rare for a guy at 288 to be able to play on the nose."
OK, now the downside. "Speaking of explosion," Curran said. "His knee kind of exploded twice."
Said Perry on Easley's ACL surgeries on each knee: "Both non-contact injuries. Both knees. It's concerning. Does this guy have a lower body problem? He wasn't really able to work out for the Patriots. But they did talk to him. They must like him."
Curran compared the pick to the Pats gambling on tight end Rob Gronkowski, who missed his senior season in 2010 at Arizona, with an injury. Still, that was a second-round pick.
Looking ahead to Day 2, offensively, Perry sees the biggest need for the Pats at that tight end spot to supplement the oft-injured Gronk. Some names? Jace Amaro of Texas Tech and Troy Niklas of Notre Dame.
Looking defensively, Curran likes DE Kony Ealy of Missouri, DT Ra'Shede Hageman of Minnesota, and, his favorite who could be available Friday, Stanford DE Trent Murphy. "6-5, a 35-vertical [leap]. 35-inch arms!" Curran gushed.