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The Jets added a cornerback today with first round talent. He could come in handy next year. Let’s take a closer look . . .

They signed Ras-I Dowling to a reserve/future contract today.

Dowling was signed to the Jets’ practice squad on October 23, and spent the rest of the season there.

Dowling was the first pick of the second round by the New England Patriots in the 2011 draft.

The 33rd pick of the draft is just like a first round pick.

Usually a player with a first round grade slips there.

It’s considered a very valuable pick.

Things didn’t work out for Dowling in New England, and he was released in August.

But it wasn’t related to his talent, but more due to his durability.

A hip injury limited his rookie season to just two games.

And then his 2012 campaign last just seven games due to a labrum injury.

He never made it to the 2013 season in New England.

If the Jets can keep Dowling healthy, this signing could be a steal.

Dowling is a gifted athlete.

He’s a little under 6-2, weighs 210 pounds, and runs 4.4.

You don’t find too many corners with those triangle numbers.

He’s built to excel in bump-and-run, and can also run with most speedsters.

He has the size and physicality to hold up against the run.

I would often walk by Dowling in the locker room, not knowing who he was initially, and thinking, who is the safety or big receiver?

If you didn’t know he was corner, you would think he played a different position.

You can see why some scouts talked about moving him to safety out of college.

The Jets are rolling the dice that the injury bug is in Dowling’s rear view mirror.

Dowling’s defensive coordinator at Virginia, Jimmy Reid, said a few years ago, Dowling has “no weaknesses.”

That might be a little strong, but there is no question he’s an appealing prospect.

And if the Jets can keep him healthy, he could really help them.

There are a lot of things up in the air at the cornerback spot in Florham Park right now.

Antonio Cromartie could be a cap casualty this off-season (though he could come back at a reduced salary). Also, his hip is also a concern. If he comes back, he must get more physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage – that is a must.

No question Dee Milliner did some good things at the end of the year, but let’s not put him in Canton just yet. He still has a lot of work to do. Even during his improved stretch, there were a number of rough plays. Let’s not forget, against Miami, he gave up a touchdown to Mike Wallace, and there could have been a second one, if Ryan Tannehill didn’t overthrow the receiver, who was wide open down the sideline.

Kyle Wilson suffered some kind of knee injury in Miami, and has been somewhat inconsistent, so his future is up in the air.

Darrin Walls has shown flashes, but the Jets seemed to sour on him a little this year

So this team needs another cornerback to emerge in 2014.

And if Dowling can stay healthy, he could be a Godsend for Gang Green.

A big, physical corner who can run . . .

January 6, 2014

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeldhttps://www.jetsconfidential.com
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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