New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Is Ras-I Dowling a Threat to Take Time Away from Leigh Bodden?

Instead of taking it as a threat, Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden, who missed all of last season with a torn rotator cuff, praised the team’s selection of similarly-sized cornerback Ras-I Dowling in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

“Bill Belichick is a genius. He knows what he’s doing,” Bodden told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “Me going down this past year. Then (Jonathan) Wilhite went down. I remember those guys telling me, in some of those games, we dressed only three corners. That’s something you just can’t have. You need depth at that position.

“Bill knows what he’s doing with his draft picks. He knows what he wants. You never can have too many cornerbacks in this league. Teams have three, four legit wide receivers, so you have to be prepared for that. Having an extra cornerback is not wrong in my opinion.”

Bodden is listed as 6-1 and 193 pounds, while Dowling measured at 6-2 and 198 pounds at the 2011 Scouting Combine.

Patriots 2010 first-round pick Devin McCourty started all 16 games, intercepting a team-high 7 passes and earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. As a team, the Patriots intercepted a league-high 25 passes, but Kyle Arrington, a 14-game starter opposite McCourty, had the only other interception from a cornerback as the team ranked 30th in the NFL against the pass.

Dowling intercepted eight passes during his first three years with the Cavaliers before missing most of his senior year with various injuries.

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