Easley to enter NFL Draft

Easley to enter NFL Draft

Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley has played his last game at Florida. The senior is eligible to apply for a redshirt, but after tearing his ACL last Tuesday in practice, Easley has elected to forgo another year of eligibility and will enter the 2014 NFL Draft. It's a decision head coach Will Muschamp fully supports.

After the injury occurred, Dominique Easley and Will Muschamp sat down to talk about the future. It was the second ACL tear for Easley in his time at Florida, with the first one coming against Florida State at the end of the 2011 season. The two ACL tears in his career were in different knees.

Easley was off to a quick start in 2013. He was one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the country through three weeks and was receiving talk from NFL Draft writers as a potential pick in the top half of the first round.

With the injury being his second serious one since coming to Florida, Easley and Muschamp both felt like it was in his best interest to start his career at the next level.

"He's a guy that's had two ACLs," Muschamp said. "I think that's the best move for him right now and going to prepare himself for April and get ready for that. He and I talked briefly about it and that's what he wants to do. I support it 100 percent."

Easley created havoc for Florida on the defensive line because of his quick burst after the ball was snapped. He's listed at 285 pounds, making him smaller than the average NFL defensive tackle, but scouts were still impressed with what he was showing through the first three games this year. He could see time as a three-technique defensive tackle or defensive end in a 3-4 set in the NFL.

His career at Florida took off after the coaches moved him exclusively to the defensive tackle position.

The injury could serve as a reason he falls in the draft, but with under seven months left to prepare before the NFL Draft, professional teams will have time to review his medical records.

"He'll have plenty of interest," Muschamp said. "He'll be a productive guy on the next level. He's a really good football player. He's extremely intelligent. He gets the game. His tape speaks for itself and how he plays the game and approaches the game. He'll be fine. There will be a lot of organizations that want him in their organization."

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