Much of the attention going to pass rushers in college football this year is being directed to Jadeveon Clowney and Anthony Barr, while they both offer a good skill set, Florida defensive end Dominique Easley was having the best season out of all the pass rushers in the game.
By PFC Draft Writer: David Willemssen @DavidWillemssen
Easley was considered a draftable player if he were to come out last year during his junior campaign. He turned it down and went back to Florida for his senior year. Easley weighs in at 282 pounds and stands 6’2. He was off to what was a great start to the season until he tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. A medical redshirt is possible for the Gator, but he has already he is ready to make the next step to the pros. Last year Easley racked up 26 tackles, 4 sacks, and 8.5 tackles for loss. Easley may not make it on the unofficial stat sheet but he routinely makes plays with his penetration letting linebackers have at ball carriers.
Explosion: Easley’s biggest asset is his crazy ability to get off the snap. Jadeveon Clowney is credited with one of the best get offs in the nation, however, Easley should be right up there when discussing explosion. His ability to beat offensive linemen off the snap continuously gives him the upper hand right away.
Pass Rush and Run Defense Moves: After the snap and already having an edge on linemen Easley knifes through double teams with ease. He uses a very aggressive rip move to split linemen. When matched up one on one he gets low and has good power for an impressive bulrush.
Redirecting Plays: Once again due to explosion off the snap Easley generally already causes the running back to change the desired running lane. Florida linebackers get on the stat sheet due to Easley forcing ball carriers to them.
Consistency: Plays are made by Easley all the time. He makes huge splash plays, but also is completing his assignment.
Versatility: Florida will line Easley up al over the line of scrimmage. One play he will take on the left tackle, the next bull rush the center into the QB’s face with ease.
Areas of Improvement:
Size: at 6’2 285 pounds Easley has perfect size to be a left defensive end in a 43 defense. He has power that could be well used in a attacking 34 defensive front. While he has the power he still lacks the prototype 6’5 300 pound frame for the position.
Injury: Coming off an ACL injury is never something you do not consider when drafting a player high. ACL’s are becoming more common and we are seeing players still have great careers after the injury.
Is the best of the best? With out a doubt Easley is one of the best players at his position. Not only that he is one of the best players in this year’s draft. If it were not for quarterbacks being drafted high and his injury, Easley would be a lock for a top 5 pick. Once his injury occurred the thought of top 5 slithered away. The idea of being a top 10 pick should still have a spot in his mind.