ESPN analyst picks Malik McDowell as top 2017 NFL prospect

by - Assoc. Editor -
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's NFL draft analyst Todd McShay has been analyzing film this offseason preparing for the 2016 season and currently has Michigan State junior defensive tackle Malik McDowell as his top NFL prospect for 2017.

McShay surprisingly selected McDowell as his top prospect over Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, LSU running back Leonard Fournette, Florida State's Dalvin Cook, and the rest of the elite players returning this season.

"Still have a ton of prospects to study this summer but so far the best I've seen is Michigan State DT Malik McDowell," McShay tweeted.

As a sophomore, McDowell had 41 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

Clemson's Watson finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting last season and will be one of the favorites in 2016. Watson completed 333-of-491 passes for 4,104 yards and 35 touchdowns and also had 207 rushes for 1,105 yards and 12 scores this past season.

He became the first player in NCAA FBS history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.

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