Michigan State’s Malik McDowell is a disruptive force along the defensive line.
School: Michigan State Ht: 6-5 Wt: 276
McDowell is a long, athletic, versatile defender. He lines up all along the defensive line and creates disruption from everywhere. He fires off the ball and uses his long arms to jolt and manipulate offensive linemen. He generally maintains his leverage well, considering his length. Has quick feet and is able to wade through traffic while diagnosing plays on the move. He uses quick lateral movements to sidestep bodies, make himself skinny and leverage gaps, creating instant momentum with his burst. McDowell also has a high-motor, allowing him to make plays in the backfield and, even, sideline-to-sideline.
While highly gifted, athletically, McDowell is not known as one of he hardest workers off the field. Nagging injuries throughout his college career may be a result of this. He could stand to add strength and bulk, and has the frame to do so. On occasion, he will get his pads too high and negate his length advantage. Against blockers with equal length, McDowell can struggle to disengage. He needs to develop better and more consistent hand usage when fighting off blocks.
Like most players with such position flexibility, some view McDowell as a bit of a “tweener”. So, it’s more of a question mark than a negative in regard to what position he plays on the NFL level. However, today’s NFL defenses are more about roles than positions, so he’ll be highly valuable to from early on in his career.
Mid Round 1