McDowell has projected as high as No. 9 to the Bengals, but he shouldn’t fall any further than the 20s if he makes it even that far. While his 2016 season didn’t quite measure up to his 2015 campaign, he’s still an elite defensive lineman with scheme versatility.
Ahead of the draft, SI’s Chris Burke did a great scouting report of McDowell that every Spartans fan should read.
McDowell really fits the physical mold of a 3–4 NFL end—J.J. Watt, atop the pedestal at that position, is 6' 5", 295. He was mainly a 4–3 tackle for the Spartans, splitting time between a three-tech and nose tackle (0-/1-tech) roles. That McDowell has that obvious scheme versatility is among his best qualities.
McDowell moves with impressive lateral quickness—on run plays, he can probe a gap at the line, bounce off and redirect into another space to find a ball carrier. He’s also able to chase down plays that angle away from his off the far tackle.
The quickness makes him tough to catch on stunts and allows him to bend an edge looping wide, too. McDowell puts his nearly 35" arms to use in shedding blockers, as he will extend those arms and then rip free.
McDowell played a total of 36 games with the Spartans, starting 24 of them and finishing his career with 88 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He also had one interception, one defensive touchdown, and two forced fumbles.
I’d expect him to hear his name called somewhere in the 15-23 range of the first round.