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

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  April 29, 2011 06:01 PM

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

rasidowling275.jpgDespite 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.

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.

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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.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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