Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald IV was taken by the New York Jets with the No. 15 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Jets acquired the pick from the Green Bay Packers as part of the Aaron Rodgers trade earlier in the week. An under-the-radar pass rusher, he will head to New York and help bolster an already strong Jets defense.
Will McDonald IV might not receive as much praise or hype as other top pass-rushing prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, the Iowa State defender has the talent and résumé to land in the first round.
A three-time first-team All-Big 12 selection and conference co-Defensive Lineman of the Year, McDonald enters the NFL with no shortage of accolades. His production supports those honors; McDonald registered 34 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss over his five years in Ames, including back-to-back campaigns with double digits in both metrics. In large part due to his stellar play, the Cyclones sustained one of their best multiyear runs in program history.
Will McDonald IV: Scouting Report
Perhaps overlooked because of his geographic background — McDonald went to high school in Wisconsin before attending a non-blue-blood college program — the Iowa State standout possesses a tremendous athletic profile. At the NFL Scouting Combine, McDonald measured in at 6-foot-4 with nearly 35-inch arms, ideal length for a modern edge defender. Relative Athletic Score places him at a 9.66 composite out of 10 with former Green Bay Packers pass rusher Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila as his top player comp.
Mock Draft Landing Spots
According to the NFL Mock Draft Database, McDonald comes in as a consensus top-32 selection. Even so, not every mock draft features the pass rusher, as NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein left him out of the top 31 selections (the Miami Dolphins forfeited a first-round pick). Even so, McDonald expects to come off the board early on Day 2 should he miss out of the first-round festivities.
Matt Miller’s recent ESPN mock draft and Ryan Wilson’s CBS Sports mock draft have him going in the second round. Miller sends him to the Saints with the ninth pick of the round and Wilson sends him to the Panthers with the eighth pick of the round.