2023 NFL Draft

Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald IV Named A Draft Fit For Steelers After Senior Bowl

With the college all-star games in the books, the prospects of the 2023 NFL Draft class will take off the pads for the final time and turn their attention to athletic testing to post the best numbers possible at the NFL Combine and their respective Pro Days. For some prospects, the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Bowl did a lot to answer questions NFL teams had regarding their body type, play style, and competition level when pitted against high-caliber competition down in Mobile and Las Vegas.

Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald is one of those players that helped his stock in a big way during his week of Senior Bowl practices. He came in a 6’3 1/2”, 241lb which was five pounds above his listed weight in college along with flaunting an arm length of 35” and an 82 3/8” wingspan. His play also stood out in Mobile as he proved to be a handful for offensive tackles in drills, winning with speed and quickness on the edge while showing improved strength at the point of attack against the run.

Recently, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine came out with his Best 2023 NFL Draft Fits for Senior Bowl, Shrine Bowl Standouts, naming McDonald as one of the players that impressed in the college showcase and named the Pittsburgh Steelers as a good fit for the pass rusher.

“McDonald has an impressive first step and the speed to bend the edge on the outside,” Ballentine said. “He isn’t a pure speed rusher, though. His inside spin move is a legitimate counter that can be deadly when paired with his pure athleticism. The pass rushing is impressive, but one of the most important things he flashed in Mobile was adequate ability to drop into coverage. Someone like the Steelers with a long track record of developing outside linebackers would be an ideal landing spot.”

Will McDonald showcased the skill set and traits to be an ideal fit as a 3-4 OLB in Pittsburgh’s defense, having the pass rush chops to pressure opposing QBs while also displaying the capability of playing on his feet and dropping into coverage, something he wasn’t asked to do back at Iowa State as a DE in the team’s 3-3-5 defense.

I recently included McDonald in my most recent edition of Mock Draft Monday for Steelers Depot, suggesting he could be the ideal mid-round prospect to bring in and develop behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. With 34 career sacks, 40.5 TFLs, and 10 forced fumbles during his college career, he can contribute right away as a rotational pass rusher while also cutting his teeth on special teams. He needs to continue to develop his body and fill out his wiry frame, but Will McDonald IV has plenty of tantalizing gifts as a pass rusher and can take his game to another level in the league, becoming that EDGE3 Pittsburgh desperately needs.

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