Malik McDowell still believes he's a top pick
Malik McDowell has high expectations for himself.
Before the 2016 season kicked off, McDowell said he wasn’t leaving Michigan State unless he was a top three player.
At a Michigan State media day in August 2016, McDowell had this to say about his NFL future:
Top 10 ain’t good enough for me. I ain’t leaving if I’m top 10. If I’m not top three, I don’t leave. Really. I’m just trying to live day by day. It’s one through three, that’s the only way I’m going. I’m happy, I like it here, I ain’t really in a rush to leave.
It was a bit of a head-scratcher, then, that McDowell decided to declare for the draft after a less-than-impressive junior season. But the former Spartan believes he’s a player worthy of a high draft selection.
At the NFL combine, McDowell doubled-down on his top-three statement from several months ago.
When he was asked why he chose to forego his senior season after a bit of a junior slump, McDowell said “cause I still feel that way.”
He was asked why he felt that way, to which McDowell responded with “cause I’m a good player.”
McDowell’s junior campaign wasn’t as impressive as what many expected. His production dipped and he was sidelined with injuries for Michigan State’s final three games of the year as the Spartans finished 3-9.
The defensive lineman ended his senior season with 34 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, totals all lower than his 2015 numbers.
McDowell has been projected as a late-first round pick by multiple draft outlets.
Even if he’s not a top three selection in the draft, McDowell certainly isn’t lacking any confidence about his future in the NFL.