Pass Rush Artist
An EDGE that moves like an NBA player. Will McDonald IV has astronomical pass rush upside. While his size doesn't traditionally fit a four-down lineman scheme, McDonald remains an intriguing option if he somehow makes it to day 2. You can never have too many pass rushers.
Pass Rush Artist
Will McDonald IV is an elite athlete with exceptional agility and flexibility. In his final season at Iowa State, McDonald had 5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss in 12 games. In his final 3 seasons McDonald had 27 sacks total, 8 forced fumbles total and had a 90.2 pass rush grade, and a 18.4% pass rush win rate according to PFF.
At 6'4" and 239 pounds, McDonald is definitely a lighter EDGE and fits the prototype of a 3-4 OLB. He has 90th percentile 34.9 inch arms that help him keep larger blockers away from his body. McDonald's athletic testing was outstanding. He had a 36-inch vertical and an 11 foot broad jump at the combine which confirmed the explosiveness he put on tape. McDonald then put up a 4.7 40-time (with a 1.63 10-yard split), and a 6.85 three-cone, the latter of which properly reflected his rare agility.
The concerns for McDonald lie in his ability to defend against the run. McDonald doesn't set a hard edge consistently and did get successfully reached a good amount of times on runs to the outside. Because he's a bit lighter, if an OL can get a good fit on him, he can be displaced. McDonald will have to put more mass and strength to improve this area at the next level.
As a pass rusher, McDonald shines. He has a nice array of pass rush moves and constantly attacks the ball to finish his rushes. His go-to is a cross-chop, rip and bend. McDonald can beat most tackles around the EDGE because of his speed and agility and ability to power through when rounding the corner. To counter that go-to, McDonald has a beautiful inside spin. The combination of two highly effective moves in either direction that he's clearly begun perfecting should make him a highly effective pass rusher sooner than later at the next level. McDonald also closes extremely quickly once he's beat the OL in front of him, giving even more mobile QBs trouble escaping.
McDonald can drop into coverage somewhat effectively, due to his athletic ability, but I wouldn't recommend doing much of that. He should be constantly making QBs lives a living hell.
In his final season, McDonald played a good amount of 5-technique, sometimes even sliding inside. Some of that may have impacted his production output but it's safe to say he won't be doing any of that in the NFL. McDonald would fit best in a 3-4 scheme at OLB but if a 4-down lineman team is enamored by his pass rush promise I'd understand why they'd try to make it work with him. He's a 1st round talent that will likely end up as a 2nd round steal.