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Prospect Profiles: Ras-I Dowling

RAS-I DOWLING, CB, VIRGINIA

Triangle Numbers: 6-2, 200, 4.5

Scouting Reports:

FF Toolbox:

Ras-I Dowling wasted no time making a huge impact on Virginia’s defense. The 6-2 cornerback finished his true freshman campaign with 44 tackles, a team high nine pass breakups and two interceptions. By 2008 he was a staple of the defense and started the final nine games of the season. His tackle total of 43 was nothing spectacular, but he led the team with three interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

In his junior campaign, Dowling tallied 58 tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, 3.0 sacks and three interceptions. His 2008 season earned him a few accolades — like second-team All-ACC honors — and his 2009 campaign earned him plenty more conference accolades. The 2010 campaign has not gone well for Dowling. He has struggled with a nagging knee injury and has missed most of the season.

Dowling’s size is what makes him such an attractive cornerback. At 6-2 and 200 pounds, Dowling has more size than most corners, but he does not lack the coverage skills or the speed to keep up with most NFL receivers. His size could also mean Dowling could play some safety and that versatility, not to mention his great cover skills, make him a very attractive prospect. Dowling’s lack of playing time during his senior season has hurt his stock, but Dowling could have been a borderline first round pick last year. He needs to prove that his knee injury is healed sooner or later, but NFL scouts can look at his junior season and know that they have a quality player who is worthy of a late first round selection.

1/15 Update: Dowling ended up missing the rest of his senior season after fracturing an ankle against Maryland in mid-November. Dowling is well on his way to being at full strength for the pre-draft workouts, but he will have a lot on the line. Widely regarded as a first round talent heading into his senior season, Dowling needs to prove that he is healthy and can stay that way. In the meantime, other corners are passing him by and Dowling’s stock is slipping down to the second or third round.

Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Has excellent size for the position and adequate speed… Very good production in first three years of career (145 tackles, eight interceptions, four forced fumbles)… Good leaping ability, uses to size well and meets the ball at highest point, will be able to win jump-ball battles against many receivers in the NFL… Has the ability to make the big hit, wraps up well and occasionally will lower the boom when taking the right angles… Very similar to former Virginia corner and 2010 second-round selection Chris Cook, similar athletic ability and frame… Not easily driven back by receivers when being blocked, can be very physical in run support along the outside… Is a very capable zone defender, better in zone than in man-to-man, has a quick burst when changing directions to make plays in zone… Has good ball skills, finds the ball in the air and appears to have very good hands… Is physical and tough, can be very effective in man coverage when he has safety help over top, can knock receivers off their routes at the line… Will fit in well in a physical secondary like Baltimore or Pittsburgh, has the physical tools to be a solid all-around corner in the NFL.

Negatives: Durability may be biggest concern, missed most of 2010 with several injuries, including a season-ending ankle injury… Has long arms and legs, but could stand to add some bulk, appears to be pretty thin… A little slow to diagnose plays at times, needs to do a better job flowing with running plays… Shows some stiffness in his hips and sloppy footwork at times, has difficulty flipping hips when turning off the line in press coverage… Gets a little high in his backpedal, needs to do a better job of staying low… Does not have very good recovery speed, is a little too slow to be a true shutdown corner, will need to run well at the combine if he is healthy enough to participate.

NE Patriots Draft:

Strengths: Incredible frame for a CB – More quick than fast, but has decent long speed – Shows good awareness in zone coverage – Very physical at the line, uses hands well – Great intangibles – Will support the run.

Weaknesses: Makes too many mental mistakes – His technique in his backpedal and transitions need to catch up with his athleticism – His good instincts may lead him to jump routes and gamble too much.

VIDEO:

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUDcKqcHuK8[/pro-player]

GiantsGab Thoughts:

Ras-I Dowling could end up being a steal. Because he was hurt his senior season, he will likely drop to the second or third round. Which is great, because he’s a first round talent. Big, strong, fast, he fits the Giants mold for corners. He’s physical, can play the run well, and is smart. The Giants need a third corner. Ras-I Dowling has number one corner potential. Maybe not shutdown, but a solid number one. If you can get him in the 2nd or 3rd round, and have him as the nickel corner? Could do a lot worse.

PREVIOUS PROFILES:

PREVIOUS PROFILES:

Gabe Carimi

OL Anthony Castanzo

Rodney Hudson

Derek Sherrod

Marcus Gilbert

Mike Pouncey

CB

Brandon Harris

Jimmy Smith

Davon House

Johnny Patrick

TE

Kyle Rudolph

DJ Williams

Luke Stocker

LB

Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

Bruce Carter North Carolina

Greg Jones, Michigan State

Dontay Moch, LB, Nevada

Mason Foster, LB, Washington

KJ Wright, LB, Mississippi State

Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

RB

Mark Ingram

DeMarco Murray

WR:

Jerrel Jernigan

Randall Cobb

DL

Aldon Smith

Jarvis Jenkins

Phil Taylor

Corey Liuget


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One Response to “Prospect Profiles: Ras-I Dowling”

  1. Steve B. says:

    I love Ras-I Dowling, I love watching him play, even more then Jimmy Smith, because he is not afraid to get in the run game, and It looks like he likes to do that too. Love his size, his intellectual/instincts, he might not be the fastest guy, but he has enough speed for the NFL. His 40 time will be interesting though.

    Dowling has been a favorite of mine for awhile, he was considered a first round pick, but had bad luck in injuries during his senior year, the previous 3 years, he hadnt missed a game. Wouldnt mind taking him in the second, if he is there in the third thats the steal of the draft.

    Think he could come in and start as the third corner, and probably be better suited as the #2 corner, pushing T.Thomas to the slot, where I think Thomas would be great at.

    Sign me up for Ras-I Dowling

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