Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling concluded his four-year stint with the Cavaliers and offers his unique skill set to teams in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Dowling missed most of his senior campaign because of injury, but his junior effort illustrated his on-field versatility (58 tackles, 1.0 sack, two forced fumbles and three interceptions).
- Zone awareness
- Good vision
- Read-and-react skills
Height (6-foot-1 3/8)
Can he overcome the injuries?
- Athletic with very good speed (pulled a hamstring but still produced a 4.40-second 40-yard dash after slowing yards before the finish line)
- Physical in run support - big hitter
- Very good hands and ball skills
- Dedicated worker, respected teammate
- Recovery speed
- Durability (missed most of 2010 with a fractured ankle and other various lower-body ailments; currently battling a hamstring strain)
- Appears to be a little thin at 198 pounds
- High backpedal
- Takes poor angles in run support
- Breaks down well in space to make the tackle
Expected draft placement
Assuming he checks out fine medically, Dowling should be a second-round selection. There is a premium placed on cornerbacks with his size, speed, experience and instincts, so any reason he falls out of the second stanza is because of health concerns.
Expect the Oakland Raiders (No. 48) to be highly interested in Dowling, especially with Nnamdi Asomugha moving on from the team; Dowling fits Al Davis' mold of a cornerback.
The Detroit Lions (No. 44) are also a possible landing spot for him. Other teams that could be interested include the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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