Will McDonald IV DRAFT PROFILE – 2023 NFL DRAFT
Will McDonald IV NFL DRAFT SCOUTING REPORT INTRODUCTION
Will McDonald IV, a former North High School student, was a 3-star recruit and committed to Iowa State.
As a freshman in 2018, McDonald IV played in just three games and made a total of 13 snaps for the Cyclones, where he failed to record any tackles or assists. However, he was able to make one stop, which showed his potential for growth and development.
During his sophomore year in 2019, McDonald IV played in 11 games and participated in 129 snaps. Despite making only two tackles and no assists, he made six stops and demonstrated his abilities as a pass rusher, with 21 total pressures, including 12 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and 6 sacks.
McDonald IV’s progress continued in 2020 as a junior, where he played in 12 games and contributed on 343 snaps. He recorded 10 tackles and six assists, with 17 stops. As a pass rusher, he tallied 35 total pressures, including 20 QB hurries, 6 QB hits, and an impressive 9 sacks during the year.
In his senior year of 2021, McDonald IV played in 13 games and logged a total of 502 snaps for the Cyclones, making 17 tackles and two assists, while also making 25 stops. He continued to show his proficiency as a pass rusher, tallying 45 total pressures, including 24 QB hurries, 8 QB hits, and a remarkable 13 sacks during the season.
McDonald IV’s final year at Iowa State in 2022 saw him as a fifth-year senior, where he logged playing time in 12 games and made a total of 519 snaps. He made 27 tackles and five assists, with 24 stops, and as a pass rusher, he tallied 25 total pressures, including 16 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and six sacks, showcasing his consistency and development as a football player.
Will McDonald IV DRAFT PROFILE
Will McDonald IV has amassed a wealth of experience playing in over 50 college football games. However, his most productive seasons were at Iowa State during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, where he recorded double-digit sacks and earned accolades such as Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year and First-Team All-Big-12 for the 2021 season. Despite a significant drop in production during the 2022 season, where he only posted five sacks, it is possible that this was due to him playing in a higher variance of alignments along the defensive front.
McDonald’s pass-rushing abilities are centered around his speed, using his quick first step to attack the outside edges of offensive tackles. He employs hand counters such as a two-hand swipe and a cross chop to get the edge and turn the corner on offensive linemen, showcasing his fluid hips. When his foot cadence times up with his hands, he flashes the potential to be a high-level edge rusher on the next level.
However, there are areas of McDonald’s game that he can improve on as an edge rusher. He appears to be a straight-line player, limiting his ability to change direction laterally instantly. His lateral moves are segmented, affecting his ability to stress offensive linemen laterally and making it easier for them to react and block him.
As a run defender, McDonald’s effectiveness depends on his alignment. He has aligned on both the inside and outside shade of the tackle at Iowa State, but he is best utilized when he is on the outside shade of the tackle, where he can set the edge without worrying about potential double teams. His overall strength on the line of scrimmage is a concern and could be improved.
In the NFL, McDonald’s value lies in his ability to evolve into a high-level pass rusher, utilizing his length and natural athleticism while continuing to develop his strength to become an effective run defender. While he has areas to improve on as an edge rusher and in run defense, his potential is undeniable, and with the right coaching and development, he could be a valuable asset to any NFL team.
Will McDonald IV 40 YARD DASH- 4.65 SECONDS
SCOUTING REPORT- STRENGTHS
As an edge DE player, McDonald has amassed an impressive array of statistics, making 122 tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss, 33 sacks, seven deflections, and nine forced fumbles. However, his skills extend beyond his position, and he could easily play as a traditional OLB with his innate athleticism and understanding of the game.
One of McDonald’s greatest strengths is his instinctive nature when it comes to countering and overall hand usage. He is a technician with the violence, quickness, and long arms to ward off blockers, making him an asset to any team. His high motor and creativity make him a formidable pass rusher who can make plays late in the down.
McDonald is not limited to the outside, and he can challenge inside with quickness and strong hands, making him a run-and-chase defender who can leave a mark on opponents. He does a solid job setting the edge against the run, and his ability to adapt to different positions makes him a valuable asset to any team.
In conclusion, Will McDonald IV is a highly productive college football player with a diverse range of skills that allow him to excel both on the edge and inside. His agility, hand usage, and high motor make him a formidable opponent, while his versatility and instincts make him an asset to any team.
SCOUTING REPORT- WEAKNESSES
One of the key concerns with McDonald is that he is so eager to get upfield that he often abandons his responsibilities against the run, leaving him vulnerable to exploitation by opposing teams.
Another area where McDonald struggles is his limited lower body strength, which limits his ability to power through on bull rushes. He can be overwhelmed by bigger and more powerful tackles, which can take him out of the game.
McDonald has also not yet shown the instincts to get a number of strip-sacks, which could be a valuable asset for any team. He can be easily taken out of the game with double teams in the run game, which limits his effectiveness.
Sometimes McDonald is late to react to the snap, which can leave him at a disadvantage against blockers who get the first step. Another concern is that McDonald is an older prospect, and he will be 24 during the 2023 season, which could affect his long-term prospects.
Finally, McDonald often shows poor instincts when locating the ball against the run, which can make him less effective as a defender in these situations. However, with the right coaching and development, McDonald has the potential to overcome these challenges and become a valuable asset to any team.
Will McDonald IV NFL DRAFT SUMMARY
While McDonald has demonstrated significant talent as a college football player, there are areas of his game that need improvement. His eagerness to get upfield can leave him vulnerable to exploitation, and his limited lower body strength and poor instincts when locating the ball against the run are also areas of concern. However, with the right coaching and development, McDonald has the potential to overcome these challenges and become a valuable contributor to any team.
- Quick and strong hands
- Great production in college
- Solid length and athleticism
- Over aggressive
- Gets lost sometimes against the run
- Delayed off the line after snap