This draft class is loaded with good EDGE defenders, and with an early second-rounder, Will McDonald IV is a guy to watch for. Following the senior bowl, where he was dominant, he gained a lot of hype and received talk about going in the first. Because there are so many good EDGEs, a talented player like McDonald might still fall. The Las Vegas Raiders could also trade up, so this guy is worth a good look.
- Size – 6’3″, 236 lbs.
- Class – RS-SR
- School – Iowa State
- Draft Value – 1-2 RD
Unexpectedly Will McDonald IV has elite length measuring precisely 35 inches. He made it into the top five of the “College Football Freaks List 2022” by Bruce Feldman. He reportedly is expected to have a staggering 11-foot broad jump and a 42-inch vertical. At Iowa State, he played out of position a lot of the time as a 4/5 technique. If he is used in the proper role and scheme, his tools can be lethal to opposing offensive linemen. On film, his explosiveness and bend pop up as he can with pure speed. He pulled off multiple remarkable spin moves at the pro day as well. Moreover, he rushes with a plan and flashes the ability to counter with his hands.
Due to only being around 240 lbs., McDonald will struggle at the point of attack in the pros. While the power in his lower half is there, he needs to show better functional strength. Despite having good bend and body flexibility, he is more of a straight-line runner. His ability to sidestep and pursue the runner isn’t the best. Additionally, he didn’t show a very powerful upper half, but he has room to grow. He also doesn’t have the best balance, as you see him on the ground more than you’d want. Furthermore, you don’t like him entering the league as a 24-year-old. It is also worth noting he didn’t have the most excellent production and still is a bit raw.
How he fits Raiders DC Patrick Graham’s scheme…
Physically he is the perfect mold to be an outside linebacker in the Raiders’ scheme. It would allow him to minimize his weakness at the point of attack and thrive when bending off the edge. Additionally, he has the athletic traits to run with backs and TEs, allowing him the flexibility to drop in coverage. While he still is a work in progress, he has way too many traits to pass up on in the second and may be worth a trade-up to get in the first.
*Top Photo: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports