The New York Jets have drafted Iowa State DE Will McDonald with the No. 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
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.
McDonald spent five years with the Cyclones. He saw limited action in his freshman year and redshirted. McDonald wasted little time being a factor on defense his final four years for Iowa State. All told, he played in 48 career games and totaled 125 tackles, 34 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and seven passes defended.
How can Will McDonald IV impact the Jets in 2023?
The Jets were in a prime position to add to their receiving corps but chose to address the defense. McDonald will slot in behind Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers and provide essential depth for New York. Between the two, McDonald has the best shot of beating out Franklin-Myers for a starting gig on the edge. The Jets could capitalize on his power and try to move him inside, but it is more likely he stays on the end. He may not be starting by Week 1, but he should develop into a solid defensive piece.