That season Wilfork eased into his eventual role as the starting NT behind veteran Keith Traylor. While I don't think Easley has the frame to be Wilfork's future replacement at nose he can help bring the heat as Wilfork eats the blockers. This plays right into Easley's style of game as he is more of an attacker then a space eater at the line of scrimmage. This is exactly what the defense needs next to Wilfork, the question is just how effective can a rookie be?
It's expecting too much for a rookie to have a stand out type season but in order for the Patriots to become more stout on the line Easley is going to have to contribute this season. Obviously to do this it requires a move back to a base 4-3 defense which I think works better with this type of defensive line. I don't like Jones at 3-4 DE either, he's more suited to be an end in the 4-3. Given the talent in the LB core it could be that Bill Belichick is experimenting with the defense seeing where the strength and weaknesses lie. It is week 2 after all, and there's only so much coaches can tell from preseason games and training camp practices. I still think there's plenty of time and enough pieces on the Defense to form an effective unit.