Gifted physically. McDowell could play UT, NT, 5T DE or 43 DE...“even safety”, as he joked at the combine. Rare fluidity for a 6'6 280+ guy. He anchors in well for a tall guy against the double when he's playing nose. And he can also split it with quickness. Naturally strong and can ragdoll you at the point. He's got a truly unique physical skill set.
Just hasn't put it all together. Flashes but doesn’t make plays. He's an awful finisher due to what I think is bad balance and lack of lower body strength. At times playing on the edge he forgot his fundamentals and lost leverage. Mason Cole and that physical Michigan OL got in his head by playing through the whistle and took him mentally out the game. Sits out plays.. on the field and on the sideline. And there are concerns about his character and coachability.
Before last season Malik said he’ll only declare for the draft if he's a projected top 5 pick. Safe to say, after an injury riddled, nondescript year... he's not going that high. But his proclamation does give some insight to his talent level.
Last year around mid season the coaches needed him on the edge at DE and he wasn't as effective. Though he did have this physical display vs Notre Dame. He dropped much of his technique trying to pressure. Had a lackluster game vs Michigan then got injured and sat for the rest of the year, missing two of the biggest games vs PSU and Ohio St.
Similar prospect to Chris Jones. If he gets a good, motivating coach and environment with role models, he could reach a Mo Wilkerson/Calais Campbell level. But there's considerable bust risk because he's never played all the way up to his potential at MSU.
Pro Comparison: Malik Jackson