FOXBOROUGH — Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Dominique Easley, the team's top pick choice Thursday night in the first round of NFL draft, was a disruptive presence on Florida's defensive line.
His ability to be disruptive may also hint why Belichick has favored so many players at Florida and in the SEC, which the Patriots coach didn't deny.
"There are a lot of good football players there and I think you can put on just about any film and watch him against quality players in the SEC or even Louisville last year," Belichick said. "They played in whatever bowl it was. ... But you know, there was plenty of good competition. You see him against guys that are either in the league from previous years or guys that you have on your draft board this year or you're going to have on there next year. I think he's a very disruptive player and he showed up against good competition."
As far as Easley's health, Belichick said the Patriots were OK with his situation (two torn ACLs in a span of 22 months) and will evaluate him more once he gets to Foxborough. He didn't want to offer a timetable for his new defensive lineman.
More from Belichick on Easley:
- "He does a lot of things well. He's a smart guy, he's very instinctive. He's got a great motor, works hard. Football is very important to him. He's an all-in guy. There's not much to not like about him; versatile."
- On Easley's versatility: "He's played everywhere along the defensive line. It depends on where you put him. I'll say you don't see a lot of guys who do that — who play, I mean, he lines up on the nose, he lines up on the guard, he lines up on the tackle, he lines up wide at times. You can see him playing all those spots."
- On a reported possible Ryan Mallett trade to Houston: "Why don't you talk to whoever wrote the story. Since that person has all the answers, go talk to them."