Round 7 pick 224
Cole Mcdonald QB, Hawaii
The quarterback out of the University of Hawaii was selected with the 224th pick in the 7th round. Cole McDonald is the definition of a project quarterback with some upside who definitely won’t be conservative with the football. Sometimes to his own detriment.
McDonald Throws the ball all over the yard, showcasing accuracy to every level of the field whenever he was given adequate time and/or space to throw. He possesses terrific arm strength that is capable of hitting every throw and does well to work in rhythm while not being afraid to challenge defenses vertically.
McDonald Works his progressions and even shows the ability to manipulate coverage with his eyes to help his targets get open here and there. The Hawaii product can rip it as well as anyone in the draft and can work his off-speed pitches when touch is required.
He is a fierce competitor that is sneaky athletic who isn’t afraid to take off with the football or stand tough in the pocket by taking a big hit while delivering a throw.
Unfortunately for him, the processing of the game from a cognitive level doesn’t seem to be on par with his raw arm talent. Too many times he put the ball in harm’s way while also playing in a system that hardly translates to the NFL. He also possesses an unorthodox throwing motion that is elongated and could lead to plenty of strip-sacks at the next level if not tightened up. Hs has started to work on that and began to send videos to the Titans and other interested teams prior to the draft.
McDonald will need to go back and relearn the mechanics of the position from the head down. There are too many times that he doesn’t throw from a consistently balanced platform and the ball will sail on him. He tends to trust his rocket arm too much and was benched twice as a senior because of it.
Despite all that, the gunslinger was a highly productive college passer. He threw for over 8,000 passing yards and 70 touchdowns during his tenure at Hawaii. McDonald’s toughness, arm talent, flashy accuracy and athletic traits pop out on tape. But, his decision making, throwing mechanics, and inability to process defenses are real areas of concern.
The Hawaii quarterback undoubtedly needs to be built from the ground up at the pro level, but he has the type of skill set that is worthy of taking a chance on at that point in the draft. With proper grooming and patience, McDonald could eventually develop into a competent QB2 down the line.