The New York Jets took Will McDonald IV with their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The hope is that the talented pass-rusher out of Iowa State could create one of the deepest units in the league. Through the first half of the season, one NFL analyst has not been impressed with McDonald.
New York Jets Will McDonald IV Receives Midseason Grade
Ryan Fowler of Bleacher Report graded all of the first-round picks at the midseason mark. He gave McDonald a “D”. Part of the reason is his limited time on the field. In nine games, he has played 74 snaps. That is an average of about eight snaps a game. To make matters worse, he is getting bullied by bigger offensive linemen making him almost useless in passing situations. At the very least, he could be drawing attention away from others but offenses feel comfortable in the one-on-one matchups. This is not an ideal start for the rookie.
Since the draft, many have wondered whether the Jets had their player stolen from them. It was no secret they needed offensive line help and with one pick to go, Broderick Jones was still on the board. However, the division rival Patriots traded the pick to the Steelers who took Jones. Many speculated that the Jets missed out and made a panic pick with McDonald. The front office is adamant that this is not true but McDonald underperforming and Jones playing well isn’t a great look.
The New York Jets are hoping that Will McDonald can develop over time. While every team wants a player to be pro-ready right away, it doesn’t always work out that way.