Ras-I Dowling: Who Is the New England Patriots' 2nd 2011 NFL Draft Pick?
The New England Patriots selected Ras-I Dowling with the first pick of the 2011 NFL draft's second round (33rd overall) on Friday night. Dowling is a well-rounded-but-injury-prone cornerback who coach Bill Belichick no doubt wants to see combining with Devin McCourty to boast an imposing backfield combo on each side of the field.
SI.com notes that the unusually named Ras-I—who was named after the boxer Livingstone Bramble, aka "Ras-I Bramble" and "Abuja Bramble"—missed time last season with leg injuries and only totaled 18 tackles in five games.
Here is a quick breakdown from SI.com's Ras-I Dowling scouting report:
Positives: "Physically talented cornerback who's displayed starting potential for the next level throughout his college career. Plays with physicality, shows a burst of recovery speed, and makes plays all over the field. Better than average instincts, effectively reads receivers' eyes, and gets his head back around to locate the pass. Displays a terrific burst out of his plant, uses his frame to box out opponents, and has good hands. Works hard to get up the field and make plays against the run and screens."
Negatives: Struggles following receivers out of their breaks. Lacks great top-end speed. Not a reliable tackler.
What are your thoughts about the pick? Are you surprised? Post below.
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