Hobbled Dowling an onlooker at Virginia’s pro day

Virginia’s Ras-I Dowling has compelled NFL scouts with his athleticism and on-field moxie, but a recent string of injuries kept the defensive back from working out for teams at Virgina’s pro day on March 17.

Dowling ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine, but strained his hamstring on the run and hasn’t worked out for teams since. He is scheduled for a private workout on April 4.

The 6-foot-2 1/8, 200-pound Dowling was once considered a top-tier DB prospect among this year’s draft class, but injuries limited him to just five games last season, and he’s now expected to fall into the second round.

With Dowling sidelined, personnel from 20 NFL teams watched 13 Cavaliers and three players from area small schools work outdoors on FieldTurf, with long snapper Danny Aiken (6-5, 245) generating significant interest.

Aiken will be drafted — likely in the later rounds — and 13 years from now, some NFL team will be looking for his replacement. He’s got the look of a successful career long snapper, and did a fine job at the combine distributing the ball in drills.

At his pro day, Aiken clocked the 40-yard dash in 5 seconds, and registered a 32-inch vertical jump and 8-8 broad jump. He ran 4.67 seconds in the short shuttle and 7.45 in the three-cone drill. He also tallied 13 lifts in the 225-pound bench press.

DE Zane Parr (6-4 1/8, 281), who did not attend the combine, ran a 4.79 40-yard dash, with a 34-inch vertical and 9-4 broad jump. He ran a 4.48 short shuttle and 6.91 three-cone drill, along with 18 lifts.

In other pro day news:

To the southeast, Virginia Union held its pro day in Richmond on March 18. Nine Virgina Union players joined seven players from small schools in the area to workout before representatives from 15 NFL teams.

OT David Mims (6-8 1/4, 331) was the Panther of note, with 29 bench-press lifts and a 5.32 40-yard dash. He’s got size, with a 36 7/8 arms and a 86 1/8 wing span, and showed well with a 8-6 broad jump, 4.80 short shuttle and 8.10 three-cone drill.

Mims has already met with the Detroit Lions and is scheduled to meet with the Baltimore Ravens down the road.

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