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Seahawks select Malik McDowell with 1st pick in 2017 draft

A U.S. flag fills the field at CenturyLink Field during the singing of the national anthem before an NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Seattle Seahawks selected Malik McDowell with the 35th overall pick on day two of the 2017 NFL draft.


McDowell, a 6-foot-6, 295-pound defensive tackle out of Michigan State, is the first pick of the draft for Seattle, which made two first-round trades Thursday, the latter moving them out of the round entirely.

"I'm smiling from ear to ear," McDowell said on a conference call with local media following the selection.

In three seasons at Michigan State, McDowell recorded 88 total tackles and 7.5 sacks, twice earning second-team All-Big-Ten honors. An ankle sidelined him for the final three games of a disappointing 2016 season for the Spartans, who finished just 3-9.

"It was a rough season," McDowell said. "A lot of downs. A lot of losses. It was a rough year."

This is the third straight season Seattle has drafted a defensive tackle in the second round. Seattle selected Alabama's Jarran Reed with the 49th overall pick last season and took Michigan's Frank Clark in 2015 (63rd overall).

Touted for his unique combination of length (10.5-inch hands, 34 3/4-inch arms) and athleticism, McDowell is expected to be an elite pass-rusher at the NFL level. He was considered one of the top defensive tackles in the draft, behind Alabama's Jonathan Allen.

McDowell was concise when asked to describe his game, simply calling himself a "dominant player."

His dominance was inconsistent at times, which is why some scouts labeled him a second-round pick, despite having first-round talent


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