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NY Jets 1st Round Pick – Will McDonald Film Review

Will McDonald

Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas have a clear philosophy regarding the draft for the NY Jets: Invest in the trenches. Even if Will McDonald IV on paper is a depth player and on the field is a situational rusher in obvious passing situations, he can be a major contributor on this attacking defensive front out of the gate. When you imagine the 3×1 “isolated” front the Jets deployed in the 2022 season, running stunts to the loaded side with a 1-on-1 on the other, McDonald could be the key that unlocks this defense on 2nd or 3rd and long. Below is JFM isolated on Green Bay’s right tackle. Imagine McDonald in this exact role. The second clip is him in college successfully performing a similar speed rush.

Will McDonald IV

EDGE, Iowa State

Film Study: Games Watched: Baylor (2022), Kansas State (2022), Texas (2022), TCU (2022)


Will McDonald IV was a five year player for the Cyclones at Iowa State. McDonald IV is extremely long, with a slender frame but could likely add a few pounds to it. He was used improperly in college under Matt Campbell, spending a majority of the time inside the tackles at 3-tech and 4i (inside shoulder of the tackle), when he should have been outside the tackle in the “Wide-9” technique. His speed and bend is his calling card. With top-tier first step explosiveness, he can close the gap between him and the quarterback in a hurry. When asked to play outside, McDonald IV saw a significant uptick in Pass Rush Win Rate (19% up from 13% when aligned inside the tackle). His ankle flexion at the top of his rush arc is what separates him from a lot of the other EDGE prospects from the 2023 class.

While it’s easy to question the process by which the Jets landed on Will McDonald IV as the selection at 15th overall, when you look at the traits and production (11.5 sacks in 2020 and 2021), it makes sense that he could have been viewed as the “pivot” once the top offensive linemen were selected. While he was not the EDGE player I thought they would covet, knowing that Saleh has a genuine plan for developing at the next level inspires more confidence.

  • First-Step Explosiveness: 8.5
  • Bend/Flex: 9.0
  • Length: 9.0
  • Hand Power/Moves: 8.5
  • Techniques: 8.5
  • Run Defense: 8.0
  • Strength: 8.0
  • Motor: 8.5
  • Versatility: 7.5
  • Football IQ: 8.5

Grade: 84.0/100 (2nd round pick)


  • 5 year player
  • 2023 Senior Bowl
  • 40.5 TFLs and 34.0 sacks in 48 career games at ISU
  • 3x First-Team Big-12 (2020-22)

Hometown: Waukesha, WI

High School: North HS

Class/Age: Graduate, 23 (June 4th, 1999)

Recruit: ★★★ 3-star, #787 overall, #47 WDE, #3 WI

Height: 6035

Weight: 239

Hand Size: 948

Arm Size: 3478

Wingspan: 8228

40-Yard Dash: 4.69 (1.63)

Vertical Jump: 36”

Broad Jump: 11’ 0”

3-Cone Drill: —

Bench Press: —


This Article Was Written By Dylan Tereman

Dylan Tereman

I was born and raised in New Jersey, just recently moving to Spartanburg, SC. I am 23 and have been a Jets fan since I was 6. Through all the peaks and valleys, I am proud to be a fan of the Green & White and I’m excited to contribute to JetNation in anyway I can.



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