Malik McDowell is a versatile defensive lineman, playing as a 4-3 DT, 4-3 DE and 3-4 DE. He had a solid sophomore season, recording 13 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Those numbers did drop in 2016, managing only 7 TFL and 1.5 sacks. McDowell has great size and his arm length is a weapon. Uses his reach to direct plays away from him. Is quick off the ball and a quick first step. Strong and athletic. Can overwhelm lineman with strength and explosiveness. Active hands. Can manage to disengage from blocker. Lower body strong enough to play through contact and stress pocket. Can track down scrambling QB. Has strong bull rush. Tremendous lateral movement and quickness. Has an amazing amount of potential. Footwork and technique need work. Often stands straight up out of stance and gets washed out. Very limited in pass rushing moves. Doesn't put arms up in passing lanes. Struggles against double teams and down blocks. Ends up on ground due to poor feet. Leans on blockers. Scouts worried about leadership and work ethic. All in all, McDowell is raw but does have great potential. He could fit in both 4-3 and 3-4 scheme. McDowell could benefit from a change to full time defensive end. Needs work on pass rushing moves.
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