2 Ras-I Dowling CB Virginia Grade: D-
Picked at the top of the 2nd round, big things were expected of the tall Cornerback. Like many of the defensive backs picked in the last few years (Butler, Wheatley, Wilhite etc.) Dowling also proved to be a bust. A hip problem two games into his rookie year ended his season and the injury theme continued a year later with a torn thigh muscle. Dowling was cut early in camp at the start of 2013. He moved from the Jets to the Raiders and finished his career with the Panthers only seeing the field with the Raiders in a limited capacity.
2 Shane Vereen RB California Grade: B+
Vereen was drafted as a direct replacement for Kevin Faulk to fulfill the pass-catching role out of the backfield. He had a good career with the Patriots although at times injury-affected, and will always be remembered fondly for his outstanding Super Bowl XLIX performance. When his contract expired his excellent playoff and Super Bowl play warranted a bigger contract than the Patriots were willing to pay him. He was left to walk to the Giants where his injury issues have failed to dissipate.
3 Stevan Ridley RB LSU Grade: B-
Ridley’s nadir came in his second season where he rushed for a career high 1,263 yards and 12 TD’s. He was a tough runner that could catch the ball out of the backfield too when needed. After that season his play fell off a bit in the 2013 where he fumbled four times in key spots. A knee injury in 2014 ended his campaign early but also his Patriots career as he was cut around the time of the 2015 draft. Ridley could be looked at as an average player that benefited from the Patriots pass-happy offence. He went on to have little success with the Jets, Lions, Colts and Falcons afterwards and more than likely won’t be on a team next year. While he was in New England he fulfilled his role well enough but was never a dominating runner.