Will McDonald IV Complete NFL Draft Profile (Take Note of Iowa State Edge Rusher's Steady Improvement)
By Larry Rupp
Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV is eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft following his standout college career. A Big 12 Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year, McDonald showed steady improvement with the Cyclones and could hear his name called as early as the first round at the end of April.
Here's everything you need to know about Will McDonald IV heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.
Will McDonald IV Draft Stock & Mock Draft Projections
Pro Football Network
Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
Mock draft sources accurate as of 4/18: Walter Football, Sporting News, CBS Sports, Pro Football Network, Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, ESPN.
Projected Draft Round: Round 1 (3), Round 2 (3), Round 3 (1)
Projected Team: Panthers (2), Broncos (1), Chargers (1), Chiefs (1), Eagles (1), Texans (1)
Will McDonald IV Scouting Report
It took some time, but Will McDonald IV left a lasting legacy at Iowa State. After appearing in three games as a freshman, McDonald tallied 15 total tackles 6.0 sacks in his first true taste of action in 2019 (10 games). His work with the coaching staff truly started to show on the field in 2020, though.
McDonald racked up 35 total tackles (13.0 for loss) and logged an FBS-high 10.5 sacks, earning him first-team All-Big 12 honors. The Wisconsin native replicated that success with 36 total tackles (13.0 for loss) and 11.5 sacks in 2021 before posting 36 total tackles (7.5 for loss) and 5.0 sacks in 2022.
Highlighted strengths of McDonald's game center around his speed. He has a quick first step that allows him to gain an advantage over an opposing offensive lineman and fast hand counters that come in handy when turning the corner. McDonald's fluid hips help him gain a positive position, too.
McDonald is far from a perfect prospect, though, as he is limited from a lateral perspective and struggles to beat linemen that can react to his speed. Improving in his rush defense will be crucial, too. Nevertheless, McDonald has the kind of athleticism every defensive coordinator craves in a DE.
Will McDonald IV NFL Draft Prediction
McDonald is explosive and has the arm length to stick around in the NFL, but seeing him land with a rebuilding team would not be surprising considering his need to develop in rush defense. McDonald is a sack artist and has the talent to be a reliable player in early downs and passing play situations.
The Panthers stick out as a logical landing spot here considering they ranked T-25th in terms of team sacks last season (35.0) and have been making moves to get younger. Keep in mind players like Brian Burns, Yetur Gross-Matos and Marquis Haynes are also all free agents following the next NFL season.
With Carolina expected to take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick, the idea of addressing the defense in the second round makes sense for a team looking to get back in the mix in the NFC South. McDonald would provide some pop along the d-line and would be a steal in the early second round.
Prediction: Carolina Panthers (Round 2, 39 overall)
Check out more NFL Draft content from The Duel:
Will McDonald IV NFL Combine Results
Will McDonald IV Iowa State Stats
Tackles For Loss
Will McDonald IV Iowa State Highlights
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.