Tagging Malik McDowell In Round 1

February 24th, 2017

Just how much does general manager Jason Licht desire a devastating pass rush in the quarterback-laden NFC South?

It’s a legitimate question as Bucs fans run shirtless around town pounding their chests and yelling #WeaponsForWinston.

And don’t forget Dirk Koetter grabbing a metaphorical bullhorn and screaming for speed on offense.

Maybe it is all about surrounding America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston with dangerous players. Look at the Falcons making the Super Bowl. But logic says a beastly pass rush is critical to becoming a lasting contender.

The Bucs own the No. 19 overall pick, and NFL.com college film guru Lance Zierlein is cranking out mock drafts this year. Joe has loads of respect for Zierlein, so Joe was intrigued by his latest.

Zierlein picks a beastly defensive tackle for the Bucs in the first round with nearly every top offensive weapon already off the board, except for receiver Corey Davis of Western Michigan.

Malik McDowell – DT, Michigan State: McDowell has Pro Bowl potential, but there is some bust potential as well. He often played on the nose at MSU but can play anywhere along the defensive line.

Just 20 years old — TWENTY! — McDowell stands 6-6, 276 pounds and he can do it all and dominate, but he’s very raw. He’s a wild card. The Lansing State Journal published a neat look did at McDowell showing the range of opinions about him.

Licht is fearless in the draft, as Bucs fans know well — the great and the bad.

This time of year, Licht is known to quote his friend Bruce Arians, “No risk it, no biscuit.” So Joe wouldn’t be stunned if Licht drafted a guy like McDowell.

Licht easily could see team-first, mentor-type old veterans like Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Robert Ayers on his D-line and believe he has the perfect incubator for a young talent like McDowell. Throw in veteran D-line coach Jay Hayes and tireless worker Noah Spence, and McDowell might become more attractive if he shines on and off the field at next week’s NFL Scouting Combine.

86 Responses to “Tagging Malik McDowell In Round 1”

  1. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    De would rock.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Imagine having a WR who recorded 198 catches for 2,699 yards and 16 touchdowns in the last two years. Wouldn’t that rock? 1,349 yards per year average!

    Oh wait…we do have that guy. And it’s not Mike Evans…

    It’s Derel Walker.

    We have Vincent Jackson’s replacement on the roster. He’s a gold mine.

  3. NycBuc Says:

    There is only a short history, but it appears Licht enjoys really gambling in the late 2nd round ei Marpet and Aguyo. I wouldn’t call Evans, Winston, or Hargreaves huge risks. Further more Licht’s biggest gamble early in may have been ASJ. I fully expect Licht to do a thorough scouting job, on field and off. The real question is will he draft a weakness/need or the est available? At 19, mocking is not easy, especially before the combine.

  4. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m OK with RB, WR or DL in the first…otherwise trade down and pick up a bunch of picks.

  5. Jim Says:

    David Irving all day, still have nightmares from that game

  6. Birdman Says:

    Bonzai you know those aren’t NFL stats, right?

  7. captjimbo Says:

    I’m the first to say grab a DE in the first. But if Corey Davis is still on the board there is no way I could pass him up. Then I would try to go OL/DL in the second if someone of value is there. With the holes we have BPA is almost always the best bet.

  8. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    McDowell is a locker room cancer. An unnamed NFC GM said that he would be rooting for a team in his division to draft this kid because of the problems he would cause in the locker room. He a top 15 player talent wise, but a late 1st early 2nd round player with the character concerns. Maybe these gms are wrong and we get a dt a lot later than we should and he turns out to be a beast and a team leader. (Sapp) Not the same talent, but eerily similar.

  9. Joeypoppems Says:


    Lol you cant honestly think Walker’s stats in the CFL will translate to the NFL do you? Im all for giving him a shot, but lets face it. He was in the CFL for a reason.

  10. Joeypoppems Says:

    I’m not much of a guy to spread hate or anything, but man I really do not like Lance Zierlein. And I hate this pick even more.

    The only DT worth a round 1 pick to me this year is John Allen (I consider Solomon Thomas a DE). If we want interior pass rush then give me Chris Wormley in round 2 over McDowell round 1 any day of the week.

  11. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    I’m done wishing for a dominant pass rusher(altho I believe Spawn will become one). Give me instead a 30 point offense thusly puttin pressure on you to put up 31 every week. Been saying it awhile now 30 point offense the new defense. Hate to keep using them as an example but its funny how they continue out smarting the whole d@$! league. The pats simply give away Jones and Chandler and still win yet another superbowl. Why??? Cause Brady put up 30 d@$! near week inn week out.

  12. bucs_365 Says:

    From Walter Football https://walterfootball.com/draft2017DT.php :

    Sources have said that McDowell has a high first-round skill set, but concerns about his motor and work ethic could cause him to slide in the 2017 NFL Draft. Team sources say that McDowell is a perfect fit as a 3-4 defensive end in the NFL. They think he has more athletic upside than DeForest Buckner or Arik Armstead, top-16 picks by the 49ers in 2015 and 2016, but the football character concerns are hurting McDowell.

    If he checks out okay, maybe… But the motor and work ethic issues are concerning in the first round.

  13. B Dawg Says:

    I am not sure if you guys read PR, but they did an interesting set of articles where each of the 3 writers was the Bucs GM and could construct the team however they wanted through FA and the draft. They had to stay within the salary cap and moves had to be realistic. I really like the team that Trey developed. Let me know what you guys think.


  14. Pickgrin Says:

    A DT with a questionable attitude over Corey Davis in the 1st round? Surely you jest…

    Bonzai – you forgot to mention that those stats you quoted for Derel Walker were NOT in the NFL. I went and watched his 2016 CFL highlights – and the majority of his highlight catches were completely uncontested.

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:

    If we go D-line I like Taco at 19 right now. Would be a good complimentary player to Spence for their careers

  16. SB Says:

    So Far I like Barnett more.

    The defensive line talent seen in the Southeastern Conference makes it difficult to make an all-conference squad. Barnett made the honor roll three times in three years. The Nashville native was the first freshman ever to start on the line for Tennessee in 2014, making 20.5 tackles for loss (which led the SEC) and 10 sacks on the year. Barnett led the Vols with 10 more sacks in 2015, earning a spot on the Associated Press All-Bowl Team with eight tackles and a sack versus Northwestern in the Outback Bowl. In his junior year, Barnett was a first-team All-SEC pick and first-team All-American by multiple outlets with 18 tackles for loss and 12 sacks (which ranked sixth in the FBS).
    All of his weakness’ are technique and correctable. Pretty impressive tangibles surround this kid.

  17. SB Says:

    Also if Davis were still on board I would get him instead.

  18. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Jim I’m not sure Irving is as really a bad man as he appeared against us that night facing an aging Gosher. I could be wrong but I don’t recall him looking like that at any other time during last season. Surely didn’t look that way when facing Rodgers.

  19. NutterBuccer Says:

    How about just resign GHolston. And honestly why not movement Gholston to DT if we get a de on draft or free agency. He has played there before , what’s the professional opinion on him as a DT, pretty siren he’s better against the run than mcdonaldans Spence.

  20. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Malik McDowell reminds me of Robert Nkemdiche…he has all of the Physical Tools to be a dominant DT. He has the potential to be an Pro Bowl DT in the NFL. But he also has the potential to bust in the NFL. Nkemdiche had 1 tackle in 5 games last season with Arizona, he couldn’t crack the rotation. McDowell was outstanding as a Sophomore, but last year was disappointing. Drafting McDowell in the 1st comes with a lot of risks. There are “safe” picks, and there are “risky” picks. McDowell is one of the “risky” picks.

  21. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Malik McDowell has all of the Physical Tools to be a dominant DT. He has the potential to be an Pro Bowl DT in the NFL. But he also has the potential to bust in the NFL. McDowell was outstanding as a Sophomore, but last year was disappointing. Drafting McDowell in the 1st comes with a lot of risks. There are “safe” picks, and there are “risky” picks. McDowell is one of the “risky” picks.

  22. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I would rather have Will Gholston as a DT than McDowell. Some people at Michigan State compares him to Gholston. But Gholston is a superior tackler to McDowell. McDowell 1st round grade is based on Potential not performance.

  23. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Can’t really speak on whether Malik would be a good pick or not, because I havent watched much film on him.

    But I’ll put it like this, I trust Lichts judgement. However, I cannot see us passing on Corey Davis if he’s there to be taken.

  24. mesh Says:

    That whole mock is nonsense. There is no way that Corey falls that far and if he did that we wouldn’t snap him up.

    As far as Derel Walker is concerned, he wracked up 1400 yards against CFL scrubs who were only allowed contact 1 yard off the line of scrimmage on a wider and longer field. So no real press coverage with every advantage to the receiver. Who knows? Maybe he will be good, but stats tell you nothing in this case.

  25. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I want no part of anyone that has bust intheir draft write up. He and Roberto the kicker could both be gone with ASJ,

  26. SB Says:

    For what it’s worth Malik McDowell didn’t even make Daniel Jeramiah’s top 50 players in the draft.

  27. SB Says:

    Yet, scouts paying close attention to SEC football and Barnett’s spectacular production should give the Tennessee star a serious look at the top of the draft. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive end broke Reggie White’s sack record and finished with the second-most tackles for loss (52; one behind Leonard Little’s mark) in Vols history. In addition, Barnett is the only player in SEC history to finish with at least 10 sacks in three straight seasons.

    Let that marinate for a minute.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Licht is fearless? Drafting a kicker in the 2nd rnd can be described in a lot of ways Joe; ‘fearless’ isn’t one of them. As far as Malik McDowell goes, he’s a possibility BUT … a LOT of guys would have to be off the board already before I’d use our #19 pick on him. I still remember Oakland’s & Dallas’ & yes the Falcons’ OLines doing a pretty good job of man-handling the interior of our Dline. When evaluating McDowell as a DT, I’m with Mike Smith: ‘Where’s the Beef?’ A 276 lb DT doesn’t do a thing for me in the NFL, unless he’s paired with a beast like Poe or Williams. If we’re going DLine at #19, would rather have Taco Charlton or Derek Barnett or Caleb Brantley before McDowell.

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Birdman Says
    “Bonzai you know those aren’t NFL stats, right?”

    And you do know that MANY undrafted players go to the CFL, excel and then end up being extremely good in the NFL, right?

    CFL is professional football. Period. It shows that teams made a huge mistake not drafting the kid.

  30. SB Says:

    I know Defense, Im with you obviously. If Brantley could somehow fall to us in the second that would be awesome. If Barnett were there at 19 that would be my pick assuming we took care of Immediate WR2 in FA. I have a feeling he won’t be there though

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joeypoppems Says

    Lol you cant honestly think Walker’s stats in the CFL will translate to the NFL do you? Im all for giving him a shot, but lets face it. He was in the CFL for a reason.”

    Yeah, because he wasn’t drafted…like multiple hall of famers. Mark my words, Joey…by this time next year, you will have changed your username because of how embarrassing wrong you are.

  32. Bob in valrico Says:

    Agree with defense,both Robert Ayers and Will Gholson can also play DT on a limited basis but it is unlikely that they or Macdowell could hold up physically over a season giving up 20 to 30 lbs. to their opposing blocker.

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bookmark this: Darel Walker will be one of the best WRs on the team next to Evans.

    Remember…I said it first. I expect props this time next year.

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Btw, once again, the bucs get zero compense picks. 32 total were given out. None for us.

  35. GhostofTedford Says:

    276 pounds???? Your average NFL O-lineman is 25-35 pounds heavier. Please Licht go all in on Poe and Campbell. P-L-E-A-S-E. I saw our boys get manhandled in the trenches a few times last year. Where’s the beef Koetter?

  36. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I love how everyone likes to bash Licht for the Aguayo pick.

    But I see no one singing his praises for trading up in the second round for a D3 LT that could very well become an all-pro at RG.

    Same logic behind both picks. And the jury is still out on Aguayo. If he can shake his nerves, and return to his former glory as a Seminole, he could be our Kicker for the next 20 years.

    I’m not saying that’s likely to happen, but it’s certainly possible.

  37. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Lol Bonzai, thats a…. Bold statement…

    I’d say it’s more likely he doesn’t make the 53 man roster.

    But good on you for being ballsy. Stick to your guns.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    Blake_Bucsfan, sorry but just couldn’t pass over the ‘fearless’ tag. Regardless of how much Roberto improves, the pick isn’t on him. I’ll always measure using a 2nd pick on a kicker against who we MIGHT have drafted who could’ve benefitted us more. Plenty of very good kickers out there (I even remember the days when Matt Bryant used to be a Buc, and IMO he’s a pretty decent kicker who’s lasted for quite a while).

  39. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Derek Barnett and Solomon Thomas will be gone at 19. The best DE available at 19, will probably be Taco Charlton. The Saints are hoping that Barnett drop to them at 11. Derek Barnett is good against the run ( 198 tackles in 3 seasons) and he’s good at rushing the QB (32 sacks in 3 seasons) and 52 TFL. I can’t envision Derek Barnett falling past the Saints at 11. There’s a good chance he may be gone at 11, when the Saints pick.

  40. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    I really do like Taco Charleton, I like Charles Harris more because his pass rush move set is more developed. I can’t help but envision Dwight Freeney when he whips out that lethal spin move of his…
    But Charleton is solid too and is definitely more impressive from a build standpoint.

    And I’ve seen a lot of negative speculation surface here recently

  41. Joeypoppems Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai

    I’m not creative enough to think of a new username…

  42. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Recently in regards to Derek Barnett that is. Scouts are unsure whether he can bull rush Pro tackles the way he did college guys. And they dont think he has enough speed to bend the edge. Leaving him in an awkward position.

    Not sayinv I agree, but scouts get paid and I don’t lol.

  43. Joeypoppems Says:

    Sorry that I’m not ready to compare someone to Hall of Famers because of 2 successful CFL seasons lol.

  44. Joeypoppems Says:

    So is Jeff Knox the next Derrick Brooks because he played in the CFL last season??? Oh man what a Home Run Licht just hit this offseason

  45. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I like the idea of taking risks in the draft that could pay off big time, but I think this is the year we need to play it safe. We really need to hit on our first 3 picks this draft. This offseason will either put us on course for 10-12 wins per season, or in the realm of Jeff Fisher! Play the draft safe, Licht. I head cases.

  46. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Sorry… no head cases.

  47. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Blake..I understand what you’re saying, but it’s hard to get 32 sacks in the SEC. Then we’re talking 52 TFL and 198 Tackles, 131 Solo tackles. Some of these scouts be throwing smokescreens about players. Derek Barnett is highly ranked on the majority of these boards. Even PFF has him as their 3rd rated player in the draft.

  48. GhostofTedford Says:

    Licht has almost EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS to spend.


    Campbell / Poe – Jackson / Stills

  49. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Lakeland, if Barnett was there at 19, Licht should do cartwheels all the way to Goddell with the draft card in his mouth! lol

  50. SB Says:

    ^^^^^ What Eric said ^^^^^

  51. Joeypoppems Says:

    One thing that can work against Derek Barnett is he is not super athletic. So at the combine he might not test all that well compared to some of the other Edge players and if that happens he could slip to #19

    Then on the flip side if he doesn’t test well he can slip past #19 as well…

    I tell you what tho. Apparently Tim Williams can slip into round 2 because of off the field issues. If he passes a background check by Licht like Noah Spence did last season…. Man Williams and Spence off of the edges together is scaaaaarrrryy

  52. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Joey..but Tim Williams and Noah Spence are weak against the run.

  53. Guzzie Says:

    Wait till Barnett runs a 4.85 and see how many people think he’s a top talent, Spawn ran a 4.84, but it’s obvious his play speed is much faster, he also had a hamstring issue during the Senior Bowl week that probably slowed his time in the 40, lots of opinions change after the combine, after Mixon runs his 4.35 40 during his pro day, he’s gonna start getting 1st round consideration too

  54. Guzzie Says:

    I like Charles Harris in the 1st if Corey Davis isn’t there, he’s a Dwight Feeney clone, plenty of top talent at RB and WR available late this year

  55. Joeypoppems Says:


    Right now they are yes. They can develop though and improve in that area of their games. I don’t see anything wrong with using a constant rotation on our DL like we did last season.

    And if I want to take the super optimistic approach I can say that if we get Weapons for Winston and we score more points, teams will be playing catch up and if teams are playing catch up then they will be passing a lot more often and if teams are passing a lot more often and we have a potentially healthy Noah Spence and Tim Williams coming off the edge then again…. scaaaarrry.

    Honestly I hate that logic tho lol. I’m not buying into the whole “30 point offense is the new defense” concept that Nosbos was talking about earlier.

  56. Joeypoppems Says:

    4.35 for Mixon? I would be beyond stunned if he ran that fast lol

  57. Kevinthepainter Says:

    Common sense if there is a concern with work ethic before rhey get paid, you dont want to be the one to pay them

  58. Buc4life Says:

    I’m with you Joey, I would love to see us somehow come up with Tim Williams in the draft. That guy screams off the edge. I think he’ll be a 10+ sack guy.

  59. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I don’t judge a DE or DT on their 40 time. That’s for a CB, S RB,WR,TE. It’s not like they have to run 40 yards to get to the QB. The 10 yard dash is what the scouts look at in DE and DT.

  60. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I would take Taco Charlton in the 1st, because of his size, quickness, strength and upside. But I believe Derek Barnett will be a good DE in the NFL. I just think that Taco Charlton has All-Pro Potential.

  61. Joeypoppems Says:

    If he can improve his timing off the snap then I agree with u LakeLand. He is so slow off the ball and yet still has success when the OT he is up against pretty much has a head start lol

  62. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Lakeland, I agree. The 10 yard split is more important than the 40 for lineman. It’s like I always say, if you’re defensive lineman have to run 40 yards on a play, you have bigger problems than a D lineman with a slow 40.

  63. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    And I would say that Charles Harris has the potential to be better than both of them ( Taco and Derek ).

    He has a big, strong 6’3 240 body.

    He can rush with speed, power, and has an arsenal of moves and counter moves. And he is solid against the run.

    He could be like a young Rob Ayers for us.

  64. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Blake, the only thing I wouldn’t like is having two 250lb and under DEs. The commish let it slip that Spence was playing at 243lb this season. The ideal weight for a 4-3 DE is 260lb-280lb. I’d like the pass rush but we might get gashed in the run game.

  65. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Blake, I just looked at Draftsite.com, and they have Harris listed at 260, not 240. I could get on board now.

  66. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    The game has changed y’all. I recall Mark Shlereth saying last week that now on defense the game is being played from the secondary forward not the D line back. Belichess realizes this that is why he releases Collins and Chandler. He’ll never release Chung or Mcortey tho. Those two Hybrid safeties. Its no longer about strong and free saftey anymore. Those dudes both gotta be able to cover.

  67. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Blake..Charles Harris is good. He would be a perfect fit in Pittsburgh 3-4 defense as a replacement for James Harrison.

  68. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I disagree with Stink about the Ds nowadays playing back to front, but I agree with you about the Safteys. I’d rather have 2 Free Safteys back there. Or a FS and a hybrid type that can still affect the run D.

  69. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Lakeland, I don’t think Harris has the coverage skill for a 3-4, but I’ve only seen him play twice.

  70. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    And Nole, I don’t think Belichick would have let them go if they didn’t want outrageous new contracts. If he thought he didn’t need them, he would have drafted some other position.

  71. LakeLandBuc Says:

    A pass rushing 3-4 Linebacker

  72. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Nole, if you want an example, just look at our Bucs the year we had the #1 rushing D. We could get a team to 3rd and long, but with no pass rush, the other team converted. With a good defense a strong run D=punts, and a strong pass rush= turnovers. Combine them both= Super Bowl!

  73. Buc1987 Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    February 24th, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    “Bookmark this: Darel Walker will be one of the best WRs on the team next to Evans.

    Remember…I said it first. I expect props this time next year.”

    Yeah huh. What happens if you’re wrong again Bonzai? 🙂

  74. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I can see him fitting in a 4-3 scheme just well Lakeland.
    He played with his hand in the dirt quite frequently at Mizzou.

    And Nos I agree that you need 2 safeties that can cover. But still think that a dominant pass rush is extremely important. And can have a positive effect the entire defense.

  75. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Blake..yeah he did play DE in a 4-3 at Missouri. I have a strong feeling he’s going to the Falcons at 31 and play opposite of Vic Beasley.

  76. gotbbucs Says:

    Pick a mock drafter and roll with them. There’s too damn many of these draft “experts” out there and I could give two sh!ts less what most of them think because barely any of them have seen more than maybe the one or two prime time games the Bucs get a year. They don’t know this team like we do.

    That and it’s a week before the combine and two weeks before free agency, there are too many things that are yet to happen that will alter the draft process immensely.
    I would be surprised if Malik McDowell even went in the 1st round. He is Will Gholston, like Gholston was coming out of college, McDowell is a project player.

  77. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    I feel what saying 75 and Blake.

  78. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    And lol yeah eric my bad. I thought he was 240 for some reason.

    You can tell i’ve spent a lot more time checking out the Offensive guys that might be available for us in the first than the defense. Lmao.

  79. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Blake, Nole, Lakeland…did all of us just have disagreements and explained
    our points politely, and now we all see the other person has good points? Must be a first on JBF! lol

  80. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Blake, we must remember, these measurables aren’t verified until the combine. He might be a little lighter or shorter.

  81. Bill Says:

    Hi Joe,

    Nice tibit on Mcdowell, but no way does Licht take this guy at 19. Not based off last years film. Maybe you guys should watch a little more film just saying.

  82. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Lol yeah Eric, sadly we’ll all be back to bickering tomorrow xD

    And you right about the measurables. More often than not they are fibs.

  83. SB Says:

    In all reality, not only are we engaging in speculation, which is good because it broadens horizons. However, I feel that until the Combine and FA, I would be just as well served to take the top 25 players as of today in consensus, and throw darts in some type of formula and do better than our guesses.
    Our needs are going to change after the combine as it will help shape our FA goals. FA is going to be a huge factor in the Draft as to which holes we filled. I think we will be better off than we were last yr. Get ready to buy playoff tickets to you cats that live in the Bay area. Hel I may fly down for that stuff.

  84. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    u rite sb. i already dun buyed my season tickects

  85. Joe Says:

    Maybe you guys should watch a little more film just saying.

    Joe leaves the film-watching up to the experts. You know, guys employed in the NFL for a living. Guys who Joe trusts and talk to a few times a year. Just saying.

  86. SB Says:

    Eloquently put there Joe.