|Ras-I Dowling CB Virginia|
|Great size. Plenty of experience. A fundamentally sound player. Looks very good in zone coverage; shows the ability to potentially switch to safety in the pros. Gives a solid effort in run support. Well respected by coaches and teammates. Team captain in 2010.|
|Lacks elite speed; may struggle to run with some of the faster receivers in the pros. Isn’t very quick; will struggle to keep pace with smaller, more agile receivers. May be better suited as a safety at the next level. Some injury concerns; missed most of 2010 season with a broken ankle.|
|Dowling entered 2010 with high expectations but injuries derailed his senior year. He is talented, but I had concerns about his speed and athleticism entering the year, and a broken ankle certainly doesn’t help matters. He’s worth a look at cornerback, but may ultimately have to play safety.|
Ras-I Dowling, who has been injured off-and-on all season, will miss the remainder of the year with a fractured ankle.
I’ve been saying all season that Ras-I Dowling is the most overrated draft prospect, and this now solidifies my prediction that he won’t be selected before the 3rd round (albeit for reasons I could not have foreseen).
Dowling is a paper tiger of a draft prospect. He’s a decent player, but his inflated draft stock was buoyed by his size (he’s listed at 6’2″, 200 lbs).
6’2″ cornerbacks don’t come around often, which made him stand out. However, his play on the field rarely lived up to expectations – despite playing in a conference devoid of many NFL-caliber receivers. He doesn’t have the speed or quickness necessary to play corner in the NFL, and I believe he will eventually be moved to safety.
Now I don’t mean imply that Dowling will be a bust in the NFL. He may develop into a quality defensive back, I just don’t believe – regardless of the injury – that he’s done anything to deserve 1st or 2nd round consideration.