DL Malik McDowell, 6’6’’ 295 Michigan State
What He Does Well:
Excellent athlete with an impressive first step. Possesses a scary combination of quickness, strength and size. Has unique lateral agility for a man of his size which combined with his shiftiness makes him a tough blocking assignment. Plays with excellent strength can control and drive offensive line men around with ease. Varied pass rusher who can win with quickness and power, possesses a dangerous bull rush. Has ideal length to play on the edge in a three man front. Versatile, has experience up and down the defensive line.
Where He Needs Work:
Wildly inconsistent, goes from dominant to dormant far too often. Struggles to keep his feet moving when engaged by offensive linemen. Pad level tends to be a little too high at times. Struggles with double teams more than one would expect. Often is too content to lock up with blockers instead of shedding them. Questions about his motor, leadership and work ethic.
Malik McDowell is an intriguing prospect who possesses all the physical traits of a top 15 player but inconsistencies in his tape leave a lot of questions. McDowell has shown the ability to completely take over games at times during his career but has also completely disappeared for several games at a time. His size, strength and athletic abilities are unquestioned and if a team feels they can motivate and coach up McDowell they could end up eventually with one of the best defenders in this class. I expect a team to take a chance on McDowell somewhere in the mid-late first round.