Some links around the Web on the Patriots' selection of defensive lineman Dominique Easley in the first round (29th overall):
Kiper is 'doubting it' with top pick. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. puts the Patriots in the "doubt it" category of his first-round recap. "We're talking about a significant injury history here, with two ACL repairs before he has played a snap of NFL football," he writes.
Give them an 'A.' ... Pete Prisco, senior NFL columnist at CBSSports.com, loves the choice. "This is a terrific pick. He would have been a top-10 pick if not for injuries to both knees," he writes. "He will be a star -- if healthy."
... Or a B-plus. Chris Burke of SI.com breaks down the pick and settles on a B-plus grade. "The Patriots remain in a clear championship window, albeit one that may be closing slowly as Tom Brady nears the end of his career," Burke writes. "If Easley cannot get on the field until late in the year or 2015, will the Patriots wish they had turned elsewhere?"
Seahawks scooped by Patriots? Seahawks general manager John Schneider didn't reveal if the team was hoping to draft Dominique Easley before the Patriots scooped him up, but he did contest the idea that Seattle quickly looked to trade out after Easley wasn't an option. "We were ready to pick,’’ Scheider said, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “It just worked out that way [with the trade].’’
Former NFL scout likes it. Russ Lande, former NFL scout, tweeted the following: "I love the
#Pats pick of D. Easley as they get a player with elite talent that they never get chance at picking at end of 1st rd- Gd gamble."
Easley a 'winner' in this analysis. ... Foxsports.com goes through its winners and losers in the draft, and puts Easley in the "winner" category. "Injury concerns scared experts, most of whom listed Easley as a third- or fourth-round pick this year."
... But Patriots among the 'losers.' Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News lists AFC Super Bowl contenders New England and Denver among the losers from the first round. "New England also couldn’t shake its love of Florida players by taking Dominique Easley, instead of two better, just as versatile Notre Dame defensive line prospects, Louis Nix III and Stephon Tuitt," Iyer writes.
Another positive viewpoint. NFL.com's quick-hit analysis puts the Patriots in their second category of those teams who deserve a sticker for their work. "The team stayed put and got Easley, who could've been a top 15 talent if he were fully healthy. He should be back by camp and provide some much needed depth."
Draft profiles worth revisiting. NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki projected Easley in the third-to-fourth round range, while Scouts Inc. gives him high marks for "quickness" and "toughness/motor" but low marks for durability. NFL Network's Mike Mayock had Easley ranked No. 64 in his top 100 prospects list, while his colleague Daniel Jeremiah shared his scouting insight in a pre-draft video.