Posted by Greg A. Bedard April 29, 2011 06:13 PM
Analysis of the pick of Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling:
- Unquestioned talent. He’s big (6-1 ½, 198 pounds) and fast at 4.40.
- Known for being a good press and run cornerback with good ball skills.
- Problems in regards to injury history. Played just five games in 2010 because of a left ankle fracture, hamstring pull and right knee injury. In ’08 he dealt with a hamstring and back injury. Started all 12 games in ’09. Pulled a hamstring at the combine but had a great pro day. Had a broken hand and a knee injury in high school.
- Having Devin McCourty, a returning Leigh Bodden and Kyle Arrington allows the Patriots to take a risk that Dowling can get healthy and stay healthy;
- Outstanding special teams skills, where he’ll likely make the biggest impact.
- His play is not a concern. Dowling’s injury history is. If he’s healthy, he’s a first-round talent.