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Malik McDowell Could be a Monster in the Mile High City

malik mcdowell

Malik McDowell, a defensive tackle from Michigan State, has all of the tools to become a dominant player in the NFL. However, McDowell has a lot of weaknesses, including a possible lack of desire to improve and be a great player. Regardless, McDowell has the talent and potential to make teams that draft in the late first round bite and draft him.

McDowell has a lot of tools and skills at his disposal, but his stats don’t show that. While McDowell has the ability to be a dominant player in the NFL, his production in college has not shown that, leading many to believe that McDowell might not have the heart to be able to reach up to his full potential.

*all of the following stats come from www.sports-reference.com

2014: 9 games, 13 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks

2015: 14 games, 41 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks

2016: 9 games, 34 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks

In addition to a lack of production while in college, McDowell lacks solid technique for the defensive tackle position. Due to his bad technique, specifically his bad footwork, McDowell is very liable to getting double teamed or just pushed out of his spot. Also, many NFL scouts have a lot of questions about McDowell’s character, leadership and attitude, something that will definitely negatively effect his draft stock.

However, McDowell has shown that he has the skills and abilities to be a dominant player at his position. McDowell is long, he has a 34 3/4 inch arm length, and athletic, a combination that doesn’t bode well for opposing offensive lineman. Also, he has incredible amounts of strength, and he has shown the ability to have a massive bull rush that can just destroy the middle of the line. McDowell, even though he is listed at defensive tackle, possesses some of the skills of a defensive end.

He has quick, strong hands and when combined with his ability to bull rush up the middle, would mean that McDowell has massive pass rushing potential. McDowell, standing at 6’6 and 295 lbs., also has the innate ability to quickly change direction, something that will be needed if he is to excel as a pass rusher in the NFL. In addition to his bull rush, McDowell also can finesse pass rush using his swim move. However, none of this matters if McDowell doesn’t have the desire to be a great NFL player.

McDowell just needs to put in the work, he needs to want to have the desire to be great or else he will never reach his full potential. Something else that might help McDowell is a position change over to defensive end. Many of the strengths of McDowell’s game are related to his ability to rush the passer, and he has the athleticism to be able to make the easy transfer over to the defensive end position.

Some teams that could have McDowell on their radar in the first round are the Denver Broncos at pick 20, the New York Giants at pick 23, or the Green Bay Packers at pick 29. All three of those teams could improve their talent at the defensive end position.

McDowell would be a monster in Denver, he would destroy the middle of the line while guys like Von Miller are rushing along the outside. For the Packers, McDowell would be a good addition to the team as either a defensive tackle or defensive end, Green Bay needs more pass rush help all along their defensive front. For the Giants, McDowell would be a solid addition to an already stocked defensive line, and the Giants are never shy from acquiring another guy who can rush the passer.

With McDowell’s weaknesses and possible lack of desire, he just packs too much of a risk for a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, who currently hold pick 14 in the first round. However, if Philadelphia trades back, McDowell could be a possible selection in the late first round.

Draft Projection: Late First Round

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