Cleveland Browns: Reclamation projects to consider in free agency
Dominique Easley, Defensive Line
Dominique Easley has already had a wild career after five seasons in the NFL. He has already played for two teams and has changed positions multiple times. Entering free agency, it will be interesting to see how many teams show interest in the 26-year-old.
Since entering the NFL in 2014, Easley has played in only 41 out of a possible 80 games. The only year he played a full season was in 2016, playing 43.21 percent of the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference.
Easley played well in that limited capacity, making 35 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and five quarterback hits. Since that season, Easley has only played in three games, making four total tackles.
The Rams moved Easley to 3-4 outside linebacker in 2018, but he played his best football playing on the defensive line. After dropping weight to play linebacker, it is hard to say if Easley will be able to play defensive tackle in 2019. If he can, he would be an interesting addition to the Browns defense.
Cleveland will be looking for a defensive tackle to play next to Larry Ogunjobi. Perhaps they go for a cheaper option in free agency, like Easley, to use in a rotation with Trevon Coley. But if Easley can finally get over his long injury history and play well in the Browns defense, Cleveland could give him a bigger role.
One of Easley’s best traits was his speed. He was able to get up-field as a defensive tackle, making it hard for guards and centers to keep up with him. But after multiple knee injuries and surgeries, he may not have that speed anymore.
Although injuries may have changed the type of player he is, taking a flyer on him and using him as defensive line depth could pay off for the Browns. And if he is finally healthy and able to contribute in a larger role, Cleveland could have struck gold.