2011 NFL Draft, 50 in 50: Ras I-Dowling - CB - Virginia (7 of 50)

As mentioned in previous posts, the 49ers will most likely be looking to upgrade a weak secondary. Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer were very streaky to say the least. There were countless blown coverages both on the edges as well in the back half of the secondary.

A strong secondary is very important to having a successful defense. Just ask the 2010-'11 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Green Bay Packers were able to spread out their receivers and exploit some of the Steelers corners. Teams will have taken notice of what the Packers were able to do and implement some of those very same schemes against teams who do not have better than average corners and safeties.

There may be a few guys that the 49ers will be looking at in the first round at the corner position, but there will also be some very good options in a very talented rookie cornerback class.

Let's take a look at Ras I-Dowling from Virginia...

 

As the video shows here, Dowling is a very large sized corner. He plays very physical and has a natural talent for sniffing the ball out to bat it down, or intercept it. His hips are very fluid but he sometimes lacks acceleration out of the breaks. His recovery speed is about par with what it should be to have success at the next level.

 

Here are a look at his stats now:

Stats Overview

Tackles

Misc

Interceptions

YEAR

TOT

SOLO

AST

SACK

STF

STFY

FF

BK

INT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

PD

2007

43

29

14

0

0

0

1

0

2

17

8.5

17

0

0

2008

43

33

10

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0.0

0

0

0

2009

58

40

18

1

0

0

2

0

3

70

23.3

49

0

0

2010

15

12

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

 

2010 Regular Season Game Log

Tackles

Misc

Interceptions

DATE

OPP

RESULT  

TOT

SOLO

AST

SACK

STF

STFY

FF

BK

INT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

PD

9/4

Richmond

W 34-13

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

9/11

@USC

L 17-14

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

9/25

Virginia Military Institute

W 48-7

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

10/2

Florida State

L 34-14

8

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

1

10/9

@Georgia Tech

L 33-21

5

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

10/16

North Carolina

L 44-10

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

10/23

Eastern Michigan

W 48-21

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

10/30

Miami (FL)

W 24-19

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

11/6

@Duke

L 55-48

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

11/13

Maryland

L 42-23

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

11/20

@Boston College

L 17-13

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

11/27

@Virginia Tech

L 37-7

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

 

 

 

Summary: Before Dowling's injury, he was considered to be one of the best in the nation. Most of the skepticism now stems from that injury. In the limited time that Dowling did see this past year, he never looked back up to full form. In fact, his counter-part on the other side (Chase Minnefield) looked as good, if not better than Dowling did even while he was healthy. However, Dowling will have had some time now to fully heal. He can still have great success at the next level.

PREDICTION: 2nd - 3rd Round.

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