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Malik McDowell is a freak athlete and has incredible burst off the line of scrimmage. The Michigan State defender has loose hips and has shown on tape that he has the potential to be a playmaker in the NFL. The main reason why he fell out of the first round was due to his poor effort at the end of the season. The entire Michigan game was an example of this.
In Seattle, Pete Carroll runs a 4-3 Under base defense. Typically, you run this scheme with one-gapping players in order to penetrate the offensive line. Throughout Carroll’s time with the Seahawks, he has also mixed in “two-gapping” principles as well. In this defense, we saw players like Red Bryant play as a two-gapping defensive end.
Based on everything I’ve seen while scouting him, I think McDowell is a perfect fit for the weakside defensive tackle position. In this role, he will be asked to one-gap and penetrate using his pass rushing skills. He should be able to create the interior pass rush that Seattle desperately needs.
From a pro comparison standpoint, Carlos Dunlap fits his skill-set. McDowell has close to 20 pounds on him, but they have similar arm length and burst off the line of scrimmage. Both also had question marks about their production and inconsistent work ethic in college.
Overall, I gave this pick a “B+”. I think his potential as a premiere interior pass rusher is there especially in Carroll’s defense. If he refine his technique and puts in the effort required to be a professional athlete, he could have a very successful career, but the onus is definitely on him.
I have also created scouting reports on Ethan Pocic, center from LSU, and Amara Darboh, wide receiver from Michigan. Check them out here and here.