Patriots select Virginia’s Ras-I Dowling with the No. 33 pick

FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots selected Ras-I Dowling in the second round of the NFL draft Friday.

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Despite trade rumors, the Patriots held on to the pick to select the defensive back from Virginia.

“I’m just really happy it was the Patriots,” Dowling said in a conference call with reporters. “It’s a great organization and I’m happy to be there.”

Dowling battled injuries his senior year, appearing only in five games in 2010. But he had a stellar 2009, making the All-ACC second team for the second straight year. In 2009, he tallied 58 tackles, eight passes defensed and three interceptions.

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Said Dowling of his injuries: “I’ve felt 100 percent for awhile now.”

The 6-1, 199-pound corner ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash.

Here’s what Pro Football Weekly said about Dowling:

– Good length and movement.
– Quick-footed bender with good body control.
– Plants and drives smoothly.
– Terrific ball skills and can play in the air.
– Good tackler.
– Long-strider lacking elite, top-end speed.
– Can be more physical at the line.
– Average recovery speed.
– Inconsistent and has been hurt.

Also of note, he’s named after boxer Ras-I Alujah Bramble (formerly Livingstone Bramble). Downling’s father liked the name and the boxer so much, he gave it to his son.

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