The Bears were one of 17 NFL teams on-hand Thursday in Gainesville, Fla., to watch University of Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley work out in front of scouts for the first time since he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in September, according to ESPN.com's Florida Gators and SEC reporter Jeff Barlis.
Part of the Bears' delegation included new defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni, who was seen working directly with Easley during at least one individual drill.
— Jeff Barlis (@JeffBarlisESPN) April 17, 2014
ESPN NFL Draft Insider Mel Kiper ranks Easley as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the 2014 draft class.
The 6-foot-2, 288 pound Easley also tore his ACL in 2010, but started 23 games for the Gators over the 2011-2012 seasons where he developed the reputation of being extremely quick off the football. Easley recorded 3.5 tackles-for-loss in Florida's loss to the Louisville Cardinals in the Sugar Bowl two years ago.
Easley's profile on ESPN.com's Insider page notes that he, "explodes off the snap" and that his "hands are quick and violent."
However, he played in just three games last season before sustaining the knee injury at practice the week leading up to the Gators game versus Kentucky.
Easley finished his career with 67 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks.
It's no secret the Bears want to add another young defensive tackle to the mix in 2014. While it may be a stretch to link the Bears to Easley in the first round at No. 14 overall given his medical history, he could certainly be in play in the second round at No. 51, or later if he falls for whatever reason.