Cole McDonald 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Cole McDonald
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Cole McDonald Overview

Position: Quarterback
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 215 pounds
School: University of Hawaii

Cole McDonald 2020 NFL Draft Profile

If not for Utah State’s Jordan Love, Hawaii’s Cole McDonald would be the best passer available from the Mountain West Conference in this year’s NFL Draft. Fairly recently, the school has produced record-setting signal-callers in Colt Brennan and Timmy Chang. McDonald, a passer whose likeness appears more fit to ride waves on a surfboard, is the latest in the Rainbow Warriors’ line of talented quarterbacks.

As a sophomore at Hawaii, the six-foot-three, 215-pound passer threw for 418 yards in his first collegiate start, at Colorado State. The total was the most by a Rainbow Warrior quarterback in his starting debut. With a no. 13 on his chest and eye black smeared on his cheeks like a tribal warrior, McDonald finished his college career with over 8,000 yards and 70 touchdowns, all while in Nick Rolovich’s run-and-shoot offense.

Used somewhat commonly at the high school level and infrequently in the college ranks, the scheme requires more than a little ad-libbing. The XFL’s Houston Roughnecks ran the scheme under former Hawaii head coach June Jones, though, and the league’s darling, P.J. Walker, was signed to an understudy role in Carolina. Perhaps, this could open the door for McDonald, who shone in the system, to find a professional home


  • In terms of frame, McDonald is exemplary;
  • Has fortitude, to say the least; In the 2018 season opener, he strained his MCL. Still, he passed for 3,875 yards and 298.1 yards per game, both good enough for eighth in the nation;
  • Even after dealing with internal bleeding after taking a shot against San Jose State the next month, McDonald finished the season with 26 more touchdowns than interceptions;
  • At the NFL Scouting Combine, the athletic McDonald posted the best marks at his position in both the 40-yard dash (4.58 seconds) and vertical jump (36 inches);
  • Tosses the football with rhythm on underneath routes;
  • With the velocity he puts on passes, he can get away with late deliveries to the sidelines;
  • Can also throw well on the run and take advantage of busted coverage;
  • Puts air under the ball, placing it both over the shoulder and across the yard.


  • Even after altering his windup, McDonald’s throwing motion still seems clunky, like a catapult; ·throwing mechanics can affect his middle range accuracy at times;
  • Operated out of an empty backfield regularly;
  • He wasn’t expected to read defenses in-depth for Nick Rolovich’s offense;
  • Many were sleeping by the time McDonald played on Saturdays;
  • McDonald wasn’t trained to scan defensive schemes;
  • When asked to go through his progression, he would sometimes pan his head too slow, prompting rushed throws and inaccurate balls.
  • Willingness to take shots when scrambling could be concerning.

NFL Comparison: Philip Rivers

Teams With Need at Position: Miami DolphinsLos Angeles ChargersCarolina PanthersLas Vegas RaidersTampa Bay BuccaneersNew England Patriots

Projection: Late Rounds

Bottom Line on Cole McDonald

With prototypical size and exceptional athleticism, McDonald will find a home as a backup. He isn’t a stranger to waiting to hear his name called. After a solid senior season at Sonora High School in La Habra, Calif., the two-star recruit planned to take the junior college route before Hawaii called the night before national signing day.

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