Dohnal: Mock Draft 3.0


Jacob Rice

Will McDonald IV runs the 40-yard dash at pro day, Bergstrom Football Complex, Mar. 21, 2023.

The 2023 NFL draft is now just two weeks away, and it is time for the final Cyclone mock draft.

Sports editor Christian Royston and sports reporter Payne Blazevich have each given their thoughts and opinions about who they feel will be drafted, when they will be drafted and why they will be beneficial to the NFL.

Here is mock draft 3.0:

Will McDonald IV: Early second-round pick

My peers, Royston and Blazevich, chose McDonald to be a late first-round pick. However, I’m going to step a bit away from that and say McDonald will be an early second-round pick.

McDonald stood out immensely at the NFL Combine when his 36-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump ranked third among defensive ends since 2009.

Additionally, McDonald has shown that he is a player ready to continue working for greatness, as he competed in the combine with a 104-degree fever. Because of his illness, McDonald did not compete in the 40-yard dash or bench press.

Therefore, I feel that not partaking in those events put him a little farther back than the other prospects. McDonald is currently predicted to be picked early in the second round according to CBS Sports, and as of right now, I feel that is fairly accurate.

Whenever McDonald is picked, however, he is going to stand out. He’s shown that he has great speed, footwork and quick arms. Fans of whatever team he is picked for are going to know Will McDonald IV.

Xavier Hutchinson: Fourth-round pick

If you’re an Iowa State football fan, you more than likely know the name Xavier Hutchinson.

Hutchinson was a Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist, the award presented to the most outstanding receiver, and broke his own Iowa State record when he earned 107 receptions in 2022.

However, Hutchinson did not have the best stand-out performance at the combine. He was given the lowest prospect grade out of the attending Cyclones, and his combine rankings ended up in the middle of the pack.

Hutchinson was able to grab another chance to prove his greatness at Iowa State’s Pro Day where Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was in attendance.

Something Hutchinson has that makes him stand out is his consistency. Hutchinson and Hunter Dekkers had a strong connection in the 2022 season, and I feel that is something he can confidently take into the NFL.

With all of that in mind, I think Hutchinson will be picked later in the draft, but the fourth round sounds pretty good to me.

Undrafted Players to Watch: MJ Anderson and Anthony Johnson Jr.

Anderson and Johnson both competed well at the NFL Combine and have also been great attributes to the Iowa State team.

However, their inexperience could hold them back.

Johnson recently switched from a defensive back to safety and did not get his first interception until halfway through the season.

Because of that, I think the NFL will be looking for players that have more interceptions and more safety experience under their belts.

Nonetheless, Johnson competed competitively at the combine as he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds and fell in or close to the top five for many of the events. So, there is a chance that he could be one of the players picked at the back end of the draft.

As for Anderson, I think he needs more experience on the collegiate-level football field.

Anderson played 15 games at Minnesota before transferring to Iowa State in 2022 where he played in all 12 games but only started five. He did find success in his first year as a Cyclone, as he tied for second on the team with 3.5 sacks.

As for the combine, Anderson only competed in the vertical jump, which doesn’t give the NFL much to look at.

Nonetheless, as with Johnson, anything can happen and he may be one to fall to an NFL team and show his talents after the draft.