Hoge’s Bears Big Board: No. 19 DT Dominique Easley
By Adam Hoge-
(CBS) — A look at the top 20 NFL Draft prospects that could be on the Bears’ radar, based on projected availability, position of need and player skill:
DT Dominique Easley, Florida
Hand: 9 3/4
Arm: 32 7/8
College Career: The former five-star recruit from Staten Island really only played 2.5 seasons in four years at Florida as injuries held him back. He tore both ACLs during his career, including the right ACL and meniscus this past September. Was productive enough when on the field, with 18 TFLs and 5.5 sacks. Would have been eligible to return after a medical redshirt this year, but quickly announced he would go pro.
Strengths: Extremely quick off the line. Shoots gaps and lives in the backfield. Has shown the ability to split double-teams. Will pile up disruptions in a hurry. Played all over the line at Florida and never quit on plays. Strictly a one-gap player at the next level. Good team leader who was voted captain. Best film came against Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville in the 2013 Sugar Bowl.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t possess ideal size for a three-technique and might not have the frame to carry more weight. Doesn’t win with his hands. Needs to finish more. Durability is a huge concern as he was never able to play a full season at Florida.
Bears Outlook: Easley fits the freaky athletic mold that Bears GM Phil Emery likes, but he needs to check out medically. The defensive tackle is likely off some teams’ draft boards completely, while others might be willing to take a chance on him. Emery has shown a willingness to take chances on guys, but drafting a player with two torn ACLs and a meniscus would be new. Easley was on his way to becoming a Top 15 pick before his latest knee injury and it would be a big stretch to take him in the first round now. However, if he slips to No. 51 overall in the second round, Easley might worth taking as he has the upside to be a future Pro Bowler if he can stay healthy.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.