By: Will Burchfield
Malik McDowell is taking his game to the next level.READ MORE: CBS Mornings' Gayle King Visits Detroit, Motown Museum
Michigan State’s junior defensive tackle announced via Twitter that he will forego his final season of eligibility in favor of entering the NFL Draft.
McDowell, a product of Southfield High, was a freshman All-American in 2014 and second-team All-Big Ten in both 2015 and 2016. He is the 11th best draft prospect in this year’s class according to CBSsports.com and the top-ranked defensive tackle.READ MORE: Detroit Tigers Fire General Manager Al Avila After 7 Years, No Playoffs
Before this season began, McDowell indicated he would only declare for the draft if he were projected as a top-three pick.
“Top 10 ain’t good enough for me. I ain’t leaving if I’m (only) top 10. If I’m not top three, I don’t leave,” McDowell said, according to the Free Press. “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.”
Whether or not McDowell had a change of heart is unclear. He doesn’t appear to be a top-three draft pick at the moment, but there’s a possibility his agent convinced him otherwise. Perhaps Michigan State’s dreary season further influenced his decision.MORE NEWS: Protesters Call For Huron River Polluters To Pay Up
In nine games in 2016, McDowell had 34 tackles, including seven for loss and 1.5 sacks.