Pros: A hard-working player that has a very good motor. Has a decent first step and ﬂashes quickness upfield. Because of his first step, has potential as a bull rusher. Shows some strength to play at the point of attack. Can make plays laterally down the line of scrimmage and in pursuit.
Cons: Lacks ideal size and needs to get stronger vs. the run. Doesn't get off blocks and not a playmaker at the point of attack. Burst is inconsistent and lacks pass rush moves. Relies on initial quickness to beat blocker, which is nothing special.
Overview: He's a nice effort player that could play a few positions at the next level. Has experience playing both 1 and 3 techniques, but probably projects better at the former. Missed two games this past year due to ankle injury, but still managed a career high 7 sacks in 11 games.
NFL Forecast: I think if he bulks up and gets stronger, he could make a nice rotational backup in the nose tackle. In that way, he reminds me of Chuck Darby, who is an undersized nose tackle that is a good effort player. He's just not as explosive as I'd want from a 3-technique player. But his ability to play both positions off the bench will make him a valuable reserve. You like him because of his motor, and when his strength matches that, he'll make a solid pro. But not sure he has the ideal upside to be a starter. But Darby has been a starter in the league, but is mostly effective when he has a nice rotation behind him.
ATL Forecast: McDonald would be a decent backup in Atlanta, but I'm not confident he'd become a starter. He would help the rotation and be a nice player off the bench. But his potential would be as a two-down player as he's not a good pass rusher. He'd definitely help the rotation, but not sure he'd develop into an impact player.
Value: McDonald is a good late round pick for a team looking for depth, but probably only worth a seventh.
Scouting Reports of defensive tackles in the 2009 NFL Draft
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