5 edge rushers the Carolina Panthers could select in the 2023 NFL Draft
Carolina Panthers could draft Will McDonald IV
The all-time leader in career sacks (34) and single-season sacks (11.5) in Iowa State Cyclones history, Will McDonald IV represents one of the more intriguing prospects in this year's draft. Somewhat on the light side for an edge rusher, the prospect makes up for this by utilizing his fluidity, anticipation, and long arms in order to get in the backfield and disrupt offenses.
McDonald's high football IQ and his array of pass-rushing moves, including his signature spin move, are what allowed him to rack up three consecutive first-team All-Big 12 selections from 2020-2022. A natural athlete, he lettered in baseball, basketball, and track and field in high school, winning a Wisconsin state title in discus during his senior year.
McDonald's explosiveness off the edge makes him an ideal speed rusher. This also means that his best work will come in space if the Carolina Panthers went in this direction.
While he could afford to add more strength at the next level in order to better stop the run and set the edge, there will likely be some give and take in terms of McDonald bulking up while maintaining his top-end speed.
A five-year player with the Cyclones, McDonald is by no means a finished product as a player. But he should be capable of coming in and contributing to an NFL defense fairly quickly.