BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots did not trade out of the first round Thursday night and actually used their first selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, adding some youth to their defensive line.

The Patriots drafted defensive tackle Dominique Easley out of Florida with the 29th overall pick. He adds more depth and talent to the defensive line, but the pick also comes with some injury concern.

The 6-2, 288-pound Easley is currently recovering from a right ruptured ACL that kept him out of pre-draft workouts. He also tore his left ACL during the 2011 season. If not for those injuries many felt he’d be taken in the top 15, so getting him late in the first round could end up proving to be a steal.

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak program discussed Easley to start their show Friday morning.

“I’m a little indifferent on this pick,” said Andy Gresh. “You like what you read and hear, but this to me is the New England Patriots, because their roster is set, kind of taking a chance on a guy where you’re a little uneasy with all those knee injuries.”

Scott Zolak likes the selection because he knows Easley won’t be asked to contribute right away, not only because of his injury history, but because of the depth of the Patriots roster.

“When you come off AFC Championships pretty much annually, you’re either in that game or near that game, your team and your roster is pretty much set — so it’s hard for guys to come in and make an impact if you’re a first round-type pick. It took Jamie Collins awhile to pop,” said Zolak. “I look at this and I react the same way I did with the Collins pick: I don’t know much about the guy but I know he’s talented.”

Zo tweeted this out earlier this morning to mixed reactions by his followers:

He expounded upon his tweet even further during the discussion:

“Stop freaking out about the ACL injuries. If you told me this 15 years ago I’d have issues with teams drafting a guy like this because it’s usually a year, year and a half type of recovery. These are quickly becoming the new Tommy John surgery. Look at a guy like Adrian Peterson. Look at [Tom] Brady. Look at [Wes] Welker. Look at the age of a Rob Gronkowski, well this is a kid in Easley that’s still in college.”

“He should be ready at the start of camp,” added Gresh.

“I think it’s an interesting pick because he’s athletic. He’s a hybrid-type guy. He’s not [Willie] McGinest as far as his size and stature. He’s not a stump like Vince Wilfork — he’s somewhere in between,” said Zo.

“He’s a new age defensive tackle. I think we’ve gotta get used to that. He is a defensive lineman from a different kind of mold that they normally go after,” said Gresh in closing.

Listen below for the full discussion:



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