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Redskins draft countdown: Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell

Redskins draft countdown: Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 63 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how they might fit in Washington.

Malik McDowell
Defensive line
Michigan State

Height: 6-6
Weight: 276
40-yard dash: TBD

Projected draft round: 1

What they’re saying

Slippery and long. Combination of arm length and flexible torso allow him to slither into gaps and create disruptions for blockers. Freaky combination of size and athleticism. Can overwhelm blockers with pure strength and explosiveness when his feet are right. Strong enough in lower half to play through contact and cause stress in the pocket. Has tremendous amount of untapped potential waiting to be unlocked.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: If you’re reading this, you know that the 2016 Redskins’ defensive line was manned by one pretty good player in Chris Baker and a cast of journeymen and youngsters with some potential but little immediate production. They need to add at least one top-flight D-lineman in the draft and McDowell could be the guy.

If you are spending a top draft pick on a D-lineman you want one who can be an asset against the run and be able to rush the passer. McDowell’s profile fits that job description. He could defend the run as an end in the base 3-4 defense and kick inside to provide pass rush up the middle in nickel situations.

McDowell is generally rated behind Jonathan Allen of Alabama and Caleb Brantley of Florida among interior defensive line prospects. Allen and Brantley are likely to be gone by the time the Redskins pick at No. 17 but McDowell should be there as an option.

MORE REDSKINS: Will Chris Baker be back in 2017?

Potential issues: His production was inconsistent and his technique needs a lot of work. The fact of the matter is, I can probably copy and paste that sentence into the write up of virtually any defensive lineman in the draft. The college linemen who are NFL prospects are generally just bigger and stronger than the players trying to block him.

A look of some plays in the Spartans’ game against Notre Dame shows McDowell’s inconsistency. At times, he can’t disengage from a single blocker and a few plays later he was able skirt around three blockers and make a tackle for a loss. He also was good at getting push upfield when he rushed the passer but too often the pressure was not in the direction of the quarterback.

McDowell also had some issues with major penalties. He drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag in the Notre Dame game, although the film didn’t show what he did to earn it. Later in the year he was tossed from a game against Indiana, a game his team lost in overtime. Since the ejection came in the second half, he had to sit out the first half of Michigan State’s next game.  

Bottom line: Interviews with his coaches, MSU weight room staff, etc., will be keys in the evaluation of McDowell. If the Redskins try to teach him the proper fundamentals of line play will he absorb it? Will consistency come with maturity (he will be 20 on draft day)?

It seems like a good fit as if McDowell is believed to be coachable he may be the best player available at No. 17 and even if the Redskins manage to retain Chris Baker and sign another veteran or two the position will need an infusion of youth. We will see if it works out

Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

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With Kyler Murray drafted in Arizona, Redskins ready to pursue Josh Rosen, per source

With Kyler Murray drafted in Arizona, Redskins ready to pursue Josh Rosen, per source

The Redskins will be in the hunt to trade for Rosen, according to league sources. 

During the NFL Scouting Combine the Redskins were connected with Rosen heavily, but over the last two months, some of that momentum seemed to cool. 

Other teams will surely be looking to trade for Rosen, and that could include the New York Giants.

Update: The Giants used the No. 6 overall pick to select Duke QB Daniel Jones, taking them out of the running for Rosen.

Other teams reportedly interested would be the Dolphins, Chargers and the Patriots. 

As the first round unfolds, a lot of clues will be given about which teams will be looking to add the former UCLA star. As other quarterbacks get drafted tonight - including players like Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones - that likely will eliminate those teams from contention for Rosen. 

ESPN reported that Arizona is content going into the season with Murray and Rosen on their roster, but that seems like a bluff, according to folks around the league. 

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NFL Draft 2019 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2019 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The 2019 NFL Draft is finally upon us. You can trash the mock drafts and take a break from the Twitter rumors as we'll soon know what each team is really planning.

Tonight, Thursday, April 25, NFL teams will look to find their next franchise player in the form of the most talented college prospects in the country.

Taking place in Nashville, Tennessee, this year's draft promises to be as exciting as ever with numerous storylines dominating the event. Will Kyler Murray go No. 1? Where will the other QBs fall, and will a team move up to grab one? What defensive players go first? All these questions and more will be answered soon enough.

The Arizona Cardinals will kick off the festivities at 8:00 p.m. ET as they possess the first overall pick in the draft.

As for the Redskins, they'll be picking at No. 15, though there has been no shortage of rumors that a move could be made to climb up the order.

Once the commissioner takes the stage, all predictions go out the window. Luckily, we'll have you covered with all the picks, trades and moves here in the live blog and draft tracker.

NFL Draft 2019 Redskins First-Round Tracker and Live Updates:

DRAFT PICK: No. 7 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LB Josh Allen, Kentucky): Sacksonville just gained its newest member and became even scarier in the process. Josh Allen may not fill a glaring hole for the Jaguars, but he fell in their lap and No. 7 and it became a situation where you take the best player available. Joining Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue, opposing quarterbacks better beware. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 6 - New York Giants (QB Daniel Jones, Duke): Here's our first "wow" moment of the draft. It wasn't even a given that the Giants were going to go with a quarterback at No.6, but it looks like they are going all in on Duke product Daniel Jones. The passer shot up draft boards as Thursday approached, and now he finds himself as the newest QB in the NFC East. At 6'5'', Jones could be viewed as more athletic Eli Manning. He also had the same coach that the Manning's had in David Cutcliffe. We know New York loves Eli, so maybe this pick makes perfect sense.

DRAFT PICK: No. 5 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ILB Devin White, LSU): Losing Kwon Alexander in the offseason, the Bucs may have just found his replacement in Devin White. A talented linebacker, White is in line to become the centerpiece of a Tampa Bay defense that features Gerald McCoy and JPP up front and Todd Bowles at the helm.

DRAFT PICK: No. 4 - Oakland Raiders (DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson): Well with Jon Gruden at the helm, you can't really consider anything a surprise. However, Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 is something not many saw coming. The defensive end from Clemson is incredibly talented, but the Raiders passing on the likes of Josh Allen and Ed Oliver makes you think twice. Oakland still has two more picks tonight. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 3 - New York Jets (DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama): After making some big offseason additions, the Jets use their draft pick to upgrade the defense by selecting Quinnen Williams. With eight sacks and 71 tackles in 2018, Williams was a standout on a loaded Crimson Tide roster. New York added free agent C.J. Mosley to lead their linebacking core, and now Williams makes the line of that defense a lot scarier.

DRAFT PICK: No. 2 - San Francisco 49ers (DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State): The first defensive player in a loaded class is Nick Bosa, as the 49ers use yet another first round pick on a defensive line addition. Bosa only played in three games this season before an injury led to him sitting out the rest of the year, but the former Buckeye will still provide an immediate positive impact up front for San Francisco. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 1 - Arizona Cardinals (QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma): Not a huge surprise, the Cardinals have selected Kyler Murray No. 1 overall. Murray is the second consecutive Oklahoma passer to go first in the draft, following in the steps of Baker Mayfield.

With a new head coach in Kliff Kingsbury, it looks as if Arizona is ready to start the new regime with a new man at the helm of the offense. There will be concerns about his height, but there's no denying his passing skills and athleticism. Now the main question becomes: What happens to Josh Rosen?

8:13 p.m. The Arizona Cardinals are officially on the clock. Here. We. Go. 

7:02 p.m. Could the Redskins be looking to move up in the draft and grab Duke QB Daniel Jones? According to JP Finlay, that seems unlikely. While rumors earlier in the week suggested Washington could potentially climb from No.15, that doesn't look to be the case anymore.

6:30 p.m. Less than two hours until the clock starts ticking, there's plenty of information to get caught up on. Here's what you need to know: