On the day the Patriots drafted the defensive lineman from Florida with the 29th pick early last month, he said he was healthy. And coach Bill Belichick said the team feels he'll be all right.
Easley started 26 of the 32 games he played during four years at Florida with 81 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks. He played just three games as a senior before being injured.
He had an outstanding junior season after recovering from a November 2011 injury, a torn ACL in his left knee. He considered entering the draft after the 2012 season but stayed at Florida. Then he tore his right ACL and medial meniscus in a non-contact injury.
But Belichick had seen enough of him against outstanding competition in the Southeastern Conference.
''You can put on just about any film and watch him against quality players. There was plenty of good competition,'' Belichick said after drafting Easley. ''Real good program, they're well-coached down there. I can see him playing against a lot of good players in that conference.''
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