2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Ras-I Dowling
Dowling played wide receiver, both safety positions and corner in high school, and was a three star recruit coming into Virginia. Dowling has been starting since the final nine games of his sophomore year and played in every game up until his senior season after battling some nagging injuries.
Player Name: Ras-I Dowling
Dowling is quite versatile, and his excellent size will be coveted by many NFL scouts. He has the size and skills to play safety on top of being a cornerback. He excels in zone coverage, and does a nice job keeping up with most receivers with his speed. He has a high football IQ, being a smart corner who diagnoses run and pass plays with ease. He can bait quarterbacks and doesn’t get lost in the backfield. He is a physical corner who fights for the ball and does a nice job of turning back and locating the football. He may be able to transition more into press coverage as he can get a jam on the receivers at the line.
The first thing that comes to mind is injuries. Dowling played injury free for the most part in his first three seasons, but he suffered three different injuries as a senior, finally ending his season with a fractured ankle in early November. Dowling’s speed is good, but it’s not exceptional, and he will struggle to keep up with speedy NFL wide receivers. He is susceptible to the double move, and doesn’t have very quick hips. He’ll need to work on his change of direction and improve in man coverage.
Prior to the 2010 season, Dowling was looked at as a surefire first round pick. His injury concerns could drop him down to as low as the early third round, however. I still see him as a second round pick and a number of teams will be targeting him in that 45-65 range. San Francisco, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore will be the most likely targets for him in the 2011 NFL Draft.
NFL Comparison: Charles Tillman