Dowling & 2nd-year comebacks

The hard-working writers at Pro Football Weekly, who we linked to yesterday with their "Top 100" free agents list, have produced another list of note.

This time, it's high 2011 draft choices who missed time with injury that project to give their club a big boost in 2012.

Cornerback Ras-I Dowling, the top pick of the second round last year (33rd overall), makes the cut.

"Patriots fans got an inkling of how the team feels about Dowling — who was the first pick of the second round of the '11 draft — by the fact that he started the two games he played before landing on injured reserve," writers Kevin Fishbain and Eli Kaberon note. "He could be an X-factor in the Patriots' secondary in 2012, a unit that is sorely in need of an upgrade in personnel. Dowling's size and physicality give him the versatility to play inside or maybe some safety."

The list didn't include running back Shane Vereen, another second-round pick (56th overall), who was limited to just 25 offensive snaps last season.

To read the piece, CLICK HERE.