DT Malik McDowell, Michigan St.*

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6’6” – 276 lbs.

Worked into the defensive-line rotation as a true freshman, then stepped into a starting role the following year, having started games at both defensive tackle and defensive end. Missed a few games as a junior. Very tall, with long limbs, big hands, and an evenly-distributed frame; may need to gain additional weight at the next level depending on the role he’s drafted for. High-motor player with the stamina to play a considerable amount of snaps per game. Much more of a gap penetrator than a two-gap, read-and-react player. Exhibits a very quick first step and comes out of his stance low, allowing him to get leverage against even some shorter offensive linemen. Has active hands and a few different moves which he uses to penetrate; most frequently uses a swim move. Gives good effort with the bull rush but isn’t overwhelmingly powerful, making it difficult for him to consistently create push. Overall athletic tools are very impressive, with above-average speed, quickness, and flexibility for an interior lineman or five-technique defensive end. Has some experience rushing from the defensive end position and is able to challenge the edge and bend back to the passer. When given a clear path to the quarterback, usually via a stunt/twist, has the closing burst to finish. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes and can create a considerable obstruction because of his size and length. Can be knocked off-balance by a strong initial punch. Disruptive enough to make plays versus the run but is more physically and athletically talented than instinctive at this point; often shoots into the backfield only to inadvertently create a rushing lane for an opposing ballcarrier. Anchor is better than anticipated for his size; not just a finesse player. Flashes the ability to flow down the line and make tackles on horizontal rushing attempts. Looks like a reliable tackler with a wide radius. Could conceivably handle playing inside or outside on a four-man line, or outside on a three-man line; physically, fits the profile of a five-technique end the most naturally, where he has the length to potentially play in a two-gap scheme but might best utilize his gifts as a one-gap end. Has a little bit of an unconventional build but plays stronger than his weight would indicate and has a very attractive set of tools, with his bulk and instincts representing areas which could be developed over time.

Games watched: Indiana (’16), Notre Dame (’16), Wisconsin (’16)

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