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Malik McDowell’s rookie season won’t happen until 2018 at the earliest

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks took some risk in drafting Malik McDowell. Not that every prospect doesn’t carry some risk, but McDowell’s attitude and commitment came into question throughout his college career at Michigan State and up to the draft. That does not mean that when McDowell got into an offseason ATV accident that caused serious damage to his face and head that he was leaning into those concerns, but that moment will cost him the 2017 season.

Pete Carroll told reporters on Monday that McDowell will not be debuting in 2017, as zero signs are pointing towards him making enough progress to play in the next couple of months.

McDowell was the 35th overall pick, the Seahawks trading down twice before stopping to secure the athletically-unique defensive tackle. Seattle passed on pick 26, where the Atlanta Falcons traded up for Takkarist McKinley, then saw Tre’Davious White, Taco Charlton, David Njoku, and T.J. Watt go off the board. The Seahawks then traded down from 31 to 35 so the San Francisco 49ers could select Reuben Foster, followed by Ryan Ramczyk, Kevin King, and Cam Robinson.

He’s the second-highest drafted player of 2016 to not debut yet, after only quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. Also yet to play are two names familiar to many Seattle fans: Forrest Lamp, a guard oft mocked to the Seahawks, and Sidney Jones, the UW cornerback who tore his Achilles in March.

Officially then, McDowell will not be a rookie until he makes his debut, which should come in 2018 barring more setbacks, which at this point seem entirely possible.