Just days after downing the Patriots in an overtime upset and weeks after snatching tight end Zach Sudfeld up on waivers, the Jets added another former Patriot as cornerback Ras-I Dowling joined their practice squad.
Dowling, who is in his third NFL season, is surprisingly still eligible for the practice squad after playing just nine games — the limit for a player to qualify for the practice squad — for the Patriots during two seasons in New England.
Dowling, 25, was drafted by the Patriots with the first pick of the second round (No. 33 overall) in 2011. He lasted just two seasons in New England, starting two games at cornerback and recording 10 tackles and one pass deflection in his abbreviated career with the team. Injury problems abruptly ended each of his two seasons with the Patriots and kept him from ever making a significant impact on the field. A lingering hamstring injury also kept him from playing in any games or practicing much this preseason, which ultimately led to his release.
Dowling was a highly touted corner coming out of Virginia, even considered by many to be a high first-round pick heading into the 2010-11 season before an injury limited him to just three games as a senior. He is a very talented player with ideal length at the position and great coverage skills. If he can stay healthy, the Jets will have found a great steal on the outside.