BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
Buffalo Bills Draft’s fourth installment of “Grading the Buffalo Bills’ 2010 NFL Draft” analyzes fourth-round pick Marcus Easley.
Round 4, Pick 107: Marcus Easley, WR, Connecticut
After addressing needs to their 3-4 defense in Rounds 2 and 3, Buffalo switched back over to the offensive side of the ball by selecting Easley. Buffalo had Lee Evans and then unproven wide receiver Stevie Johnson as its starting wide receivers entering the first week of the season, but the team was lacking depth.
Besides Easley and Buffalo’s starters, the team had Roscoe Parrish and fellow undrafted rookies Donald Jones and David Nelson vying for playing time at wideout.
Easley’s NFL.com draft profile had this to say:
Easley is a very raw talent who struggled on the bench for three years before bursting on the scene during his senior year at UConn. He has a rare combination of size and straight-line speed and can make acrobatic catches. The problem is Easley does not appear to trust his hands and will not only drop some catchable passes but tends to let the ball get into his body to trap it rather than reach out to pluck it. He is a bit of a strider and will need a lot of work on getting in and out of his breaks. The nice thing is that he has a good chance to see some action on special teams. He was a core special-teams performer at UConn during his first three years as he tried to earn a scholarship.
Easley joined the Huskies in 2005 as a walk-on and was redshirted by the team.
In 2006, Easley was an active member on the Huskies but he did not see any playing time.
In Easley’s sophomore season, he finally found himself on the field as a special teams player and backup wide receiver. Easley recorded his first collegiate reception in the second week of the season against Maine. The 10 yard reception was the only reception Easley had all season long.
Easley’s junior season saw him receive more opportunities with the team. In four of the team’s first five contests, Easley started as Connecticut’s split end. During this five game stretch, Easley only recorded one reception for 18 yards against Temple. His best game of the season came against Pittsburgh, where he recorded two receptions for 52 yards. Easley played in all 12 games, but only had four receptions for 94 yards.
Easley finally broke out in his senior season. He did not start until the seventh game of the season, but played in all 13 of Connecticut’s games. In the fifth week of the season, Easley recorded two catches for 100 yards and a touchdown against Pittsburgh. In Week 6, Easley caught six passes for 108 yards and a touchdown against Louisville. Coming off of two strong performances, Easley received his first start of the season against West Virginia, and caught five passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. Easley was also strong in Connecticut’s final two regular season games, catching 14 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns.
He finished his senior campaign with 48 receptions for 893 yards and eight touchdowns. He was named to the second-team all-Big East team. There’s no question that Easley was a prime example of a one-year wonder at Connecticut.
What the Draft Analysts Said Following the 2010 NFL Draft
Jon Dove graded fourth-round picks for CBSSports.com. Dove gave Buffalo a B+ grade for the Easley selection and said the following:
Easley has talent and with development could actually make an impact. He has good speed (not great) and nice size. He can jump up and get the ball high but there are concerns about his hands.
Benjamin Klein, then of NFLDraftBible.com, also liked the Easley pick. Over at Bleacher Report, Klein gave the pick an A:
Excellent developmental WR who will make his presence felt on special teams.