He might have preferred an offensive tackle or receiver here, but McDonald is a vastly underrated speed end whose true potential won’t show up in his college video. A 6-foot-4, 240-pound speed wing shouldn’t be among the tackles in three-man fronts, but that’s where McDonald was all too often for Iowa State last season. You put him in four-man and five-man fronts, and you just have to love what he can do with his curve, spin moves, and surprising power.
Height: 6′ 3⅝” (46th percentile) Weight: 239 (3rd)
40-yard dash: N/A
10 Yard Split: N/A
Bench Press: N/A
Vertical jump: 36″ (79º)
Long jump: 132″ (98º)
3 Cone Drill: N/A
20 Yard Shuttle: N/A
Wingspan: 82¼” (80)
Arm Length: 34⅞” (90°)
Hand Size: 9½” (26)
Biography: McDonald was also a baseball, basketball and track star at Waukesha North High in Waukesha, Wisconsin, with the three-star recruit choosing Iowa State over Minnesota and Baylor. Over five seasons with the Cyclones, McDonald amassed 35 sacks, 20 quarterback hits, 72 quarterback runs, eight batted passes, 11 forced fumbles, 56 tackles, and 73 stops. McDonald had 981 plays off tackles, 396 on tackles and 101 on B-spaces. He also spent 21 of his plays in the box and four on the slot.
Statistics to know: In 2022, McDonald spent just 80% of his designated time as a forward defender, and not always to his best advantage. We’ll get into this right away.
Strengths: So here’s the problem. Iowa State plays a ton of three-man fronts where McDonald was either on or off the tackle. This forced him to work outside, or outside in, without the help he would get on more crowded fronts, and he also had to deal with the inside shoulder of the tackle and the outside shoulder of the guard much more than anyone his size. he. he should have to.
When out of tackle, McDonald was able to show off his inside counter-attacks, which are pretty good. He’ll put down some off-center NFL tackles pretty quickly with moves like these from shoulder to shoulder.
McDonald developed some great tricks when he had to work inside. In this run stoppage against Kansas, he had to deal with the slipping offensive line, and he beat the left tackle by outrunning him into the gap. Not that you want your 6-foot-4, 240-pound front runner in this position, but hey, give McDonald credit for making it work.
The more I looked at McDonald, the more his technical palette impressed me. Here against Texas Tech, he was actually the EDGE in a four-man front (progress!), and he did a good job of disengaging from his first spin move with a second to unravel and present pressure.
McDonald also has some speed-to-power abilities.
Weaknesses: Schematic schisms aside, McDonald isn’t going to finish off many double teams or be a powerful defender, but you don’t want him on that wall anyway.
Conclusion: The NFL team that takes Will McDonald IV could end up with one of the best upsets and biggest offers in this draft class. His speed, curve, playing power (at times) and his advanced technical bag should make him a problem as a running back off tackles with more help than he had in college. There are times as a draft evaluator when you have to remember that college coaches don’t always put their players in ideal positions for success, and then you have to bring traits to the pros with that in mind. McDonald’s has enough good tape in enough forms to make that a pleasurable experience.
NFL Comparison: Robert Quinn. I’m not going to compare McDonald to Dwight Freeney, though there are similarities in spin techniques and ability to generate turnovers. So, I’ll go with Quinn, selected with the 14th pick in the 2011 draft by the Rams. Quinn has posted a smooth, quick and athletic sack case of 106 sacks, 505 total pressures and 26 forced fumbles in his NFL career thus far. It’s hard to give an accurate comparison of McDonald right now because he’ll be used so much differently in the NFL and to his great advantage. I can’t wait to see what he does on the next level.