Malik Mcdowell: DT/ Height 6’6″/Weight: 295/40 yard dash: 4.85/ Bench Press: 23 reps (225lbs)
This is a very big man that has a nasty streak in him that most offensive lineman hope to not see. He is often questioned for his work ethic and his love for the game, but if someone can passionately coach him and get the most out of him he has the chance to be a special player. When I say special I mean multiple all-pro teams and year after year pro bowls, he’s that talented!
He disrupts plays with his explosive fire off and quick first step that often leave the opponent wondering what just launched into them. In the games (ND 16′, BYU 16′, Nebraska 15′) I watched he consistently dominated in the run game and pass game. His ability to stay low and fire off for such a big man poses problems for the offensive lineman. Once the offensive lineman is engaged he uses his length to control the offensive lineman and do as he pleases with them. Mcdowell has a variety of moves that he displays effectively and he also is a force pass rushing. He consistently swims or rips the offensive lineman or just straight bull rushes and collapses the pocket. Inside pass rushers are hard to find and if you have one they are special, think Aaron Donald.
Mcdowell offers versatility as well having lined up in a multitude of positions and successfully completing the tasks at each. I was very surprised to see him rush on the edge and have enough bend to get around the corner, but he did it, multiple times. The versatility he offers will be valued greatly in the NFL as he would be a three down lineman that would never have to come off the field. I believe that NFL teams will overlook his work ethic concerns, because lets face it Michigan State had a very down year. If you watch his tape from the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year you can notice some drop of intensity. I attribute this to thinking it will go unnoticed and him knowing he makes millions if he does not get hurt. I particularly went back to 2015 to watch the Nebraska game to see how he played then and I saw no signs of work ethic concerns. Same thing can be said in the 2016 Notre Dame it was beginning of 2016 before the season took a down turn and he completely DOMINATED! The way I think of it is that if I were in his shoes and the season was going down the drain I might ease up slightly too. Also other prospects sat out the bowl games McCaffrey, Fournette, and heck Charles Walker sat out the whole year practically at Oklahoma.
With a motivated coaching staff there to get the most out of Mcdowell I think he will be a steal in the draft. Other teams can be worried all they want about work ethic, but its overblown and not to worried about when you see him on film. This guy is a gem who needs to be pushed, but he should be taken in the first round and should be top 15 easy based on film. So, if your teams gets him after that consider it stealing and write him down for a week 1 starter.