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2016 Rams Roster Preview: DL Dominique Easley is Getting a Second Chance

After battling with injury and locker room questions in New England, Dominique Easley is looking to redeem himself with the Rams.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A healthy Dominique Easley is a dominant defensive lineman.

His combination of burst, quickness and power is very similar to that of his new teammate, Aaron Donald. Easley has not seen the field much during his pro career, though. Be it because of injury or disgruntlement with Patriots coaches, Easley did not get as many snaps in his two years in New England as his talent warranted.

The Rams have a chance to unleash a monster. If Easley can stay relatively healthy and be a better locker room fit in Los Angeles than he was in New England, Gregg Williams will have another lethal weapon along his defensive line.

Roster Battle

It's standard for the Rams to have four active defensive tackles on game day. Right off the bat, Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers take up half of those spots. The two remaining spots are left to just three players, though. At most every other position on the roster, there is a fair amount of competition for roster spots. At defensive tackle, it feels as if the Rams are perfectly fine with the small handful of guys they have in camp.

Considering how well Ethan Westbrooks played as a rotational player last year, he should retain his job along the defensive line. Cam Thomas is the only player fighting Easley for the fourth spot. Thomas has spent time with the San Diego Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, proving to be a quality rotational defensive lineman for both teams. Thomas theoretically provides more stability than Easley, but Easley has the potential to provide a more explosive and dynamic player.


Easley's locker room fiasco in New England feels more like it was a bad fit with a picky team than Easley having legitimate issues. He did not have conduct issues as a Florida Gators, so it's odd that he was all of a sudden painted as a nuisance. He should fit in just fine with the Rams.

As a player, Easley is the perfect rotational player for Donald. They have the same skill set, both in the run game and as pass rushers. Easley has lost a bit of his explosion off the snap due to multiple knee injuries, but he is still a terrifying gap shooter. He is going to make major impressions throughout the remainder of the offseason with his flashy plays.

Chances of Making Roster (6/10)

Thomas is no slouch, but Easley makes more sense for the team.

Easley has a definite role. Though he can play anywhere along the line, he is a perfect fit to relieve Donald or rush beside him on definite passing downs. If Easley did not have his injury history, his chances would be much higher. He has proven that he can recover from his injuries and play well, but the looming possibility of him hurting himself again may be something the Rams don't want to deal with.