SEATTLE (CBS/1090 The Fan) — Seahawks fans finally had a draft moment to cheer about Friday: after trading back three times, Seattle spent its first 2017 NFL Draft pick, selecting Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell 35th-overall.
“I’m chilling with my family right now. It’s the craziest call I got, ever,” McDowell told reporters after the pick. “They’re happy, we’re all happy.”
The 6-foot-6, 295-pound McDowell, who describes himself as a “dominant” player, was a two-year starter for the Spartans, playing primarily as an interior D-lineman. Through 50 games, he recorded 88 tackles (50 solo tackles), 7.5 sacks, and an interception for a touchdown (below).
After earning Second Team All-Big Ten Honors following his 2015 season (21 solo tackles, 13.0 for loss, 4.5 sacks) McDowell saw a more up-and-down season as a Junior (7.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks) and dealt with a series of injuries, including a rib injury, and an ankle injury that caused him to miss the final three games of his college career.
“It was a rough season. A lot of downs, a lot of losses. It was just a rough year.”
Seahawks general manager John Schnieder acknowledged questions about McDowell’s inconsistencies but said ultimately his technique was “too unique” to pass on. Carroll, too, praised his upside.
“We’ve been looking for a three-technique pass rusher… since we’ve been here,” said Schneider.
McDowell joins second-year defensive tackle Jarran Reed on Seattle’s defensive line, as well as defensive ends Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and Frank Clark.