Former Gator defensive lineman Dominique Easley is now added to Florida’s long list of first round NFL draft choices when he was selected late in the first round by the New England Patriots on Thursday.
Easley was considered to be a first round talent before an injury sidelined him for most of his senior season at UF and most draft experts believed he would be taken in the second or third round because of the injury risk but the Patriots, who have drafted several Gator players recently, pulled the trigger on Easley.
The top pick as expected was South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney who was taken by the Houston Texans. The St.Louis Rams took Auburn offensive lineman Greg Robinson and the Jacksonville Jaguars surprised a few people when they took UCF quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick.
The Tampa Bay Bucs took Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans with the seventh pick and the Miami Dolphins, needing offensive line help but seeing many of them go to other teams earlier in the draft, selected Tennessee offensive lineman Ja’Wuan James from Tennessee with the 19th pick.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel had to wait until the 22nd pick to be selected by the Cleveland Browns who traded with the Philadelphia Eagles to make the pick. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the 32nd player taken in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings.
Of the 32 players chosen in the first round, 11 came from the SEC. The NFL Draft will continue Friday.