Cole McDonald




215 lbs



Games Evaluated: 2018 Vs: San Jose State, Colorado State 2019 Vs: Arizona, BYU

Report By: Alex Edwards

Scouting Report


Flexibility: 6.50
C.O.D.: 6.00
Explosiveness/Speed: 7.00
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure: 6.00

McDonald shows very good athleticism with the ability to get out in the open and pick up yards given to him. His ability is good enough to get outside the pocket and have the option of throwing or running for it. I don't feel its lack of flexibility but more not getting enough torque in his hips when throwing, causing the ball to float at times. He has adequate change of direction but not a guy that is going to make defenders miss. he prefers to actually duck down and take hits, which isn't really what you want with your QB. He isn't going to outrun defenders but has enough speed to get going and pick up yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Solid pocket mobility when it comes to getting outside. When it comes to avoiding pressure he lacks awareness before it's too late. He needs to get a better habit of climbing the pocket. He does well keeping on the balls of his feet but does not progress forward.


Quick Release/Mechanics: 7.10
Delivery: 6.00
Short Accuracy: 6.00
Intermediate Accuracy: 6.00
Deep Accuracy: 6.60
Big Play Ability: 7.10
Avoid Errors/Mistakes: 5.50
Arm Strength: 6.90
Footwork: 6.70

He is very good at getting the ball out of his hands quickly. His mechanics could use some work, often being lazy with his lower half, failing to get full torque from the hips. He doesn’t change release point too often but his delivery is inconsistent. At times he will do well keeping it at a 3/4 arm motion but then others he will let his arm drag. His short accuracy is adequate but needs to be more consistent. When he delivers to his first progression off anticipation he is accurate but when going beyond that he struggles. His intermediate accuracy is inconsistent as well. At times he hit the receiver with anticipation right off the break and others he will be completely off. He has good accuracy when it comes to going deep. When he is inaccurate though, it tends to be getting too much air under the ball. He isn't afraid to take a risk but this comes with a handful of mistakes as well. He is not the type of QB who is just going to manage the game. He is willing to take risks and this comes with mistakes. He is the go big or go home type. He shows good ability to get zip on the ball but has a habit of not fully using his lower body. This causes him to let the ball float too much when he actually needs to put zip on the ball. Has the arm to go deep often though. He has active yet calm footwork that goes well with his mobility. He just needs to be better and moving around within the pocket instead of getting stuck in one spot and then breaking outside the pocket.


Toughness: 8.10
Intangibles/Leadership: 7.60
Poise In Pocket: 6.50
Consistency / Motor: 5.50
Production: 7.10
Improvisational Ability: 5.10

He is excellent when it comes to toughness, not afraid to take a hit. I would like to see him protect himself more often though, does not run like he is playing the QB position. He shows a great competitive nature. In the game against San Jose State, he led the team down to take the lead in a 2-minute drill and went to the sidelines showing his passion and standing on the bench in excitement. I’m someone who likes to see that kind of passion displayed. He has very good poise in the pocket. He is willing to stand in and take the hit just before making the throw. he doesn't back down once he is already in the process of throwing. He can be hesitant at times before starting to throw though when pressure pursues. He is the definition of inconsistent. He will have one throw that looks great, exactly what you want then the next is not even close. He was able to produce in his time with Hawaii. In 33 games in his career, he had a total of 8032 yards and 70 TDs. His improvisational ability is marginal. When it comes to improvising he can do so decently with his feet but when he has to make throws it usually doesn't end up well, he tends to look rattled. He did show a few times the ability to make throws on the run to his right side though.


Instincts: 6.20
Blitz/Coverage Recognition: 5.60
Decision Making: 5.50
Learn/Retain: 6.00

He has good instincts when it comes to the initial planned first progression but when he goes beyond that his instincts start to falter. He seems to do better against zone coverage, finding the pockets. He can get tunnel vision and not see the defender hanging in front of the receiver he is going to though. He doesn't have the greatest decision-making skills on his own. He seems to do well when the pre-snap decision is there but beyond that, not great. He has many mistakes he makes on the regular. He still has plenty of upside to work with and room to improve. Get him with the right system and coaching staff and I could see him making big strides.


McDonald is at his best when he is working quickly and in rhythm. He sees his first read and doesn't hesitate to work there right away. He is adept at standing in with his throws even when pressure is incoming. When he doesn't have anywhere to throw he does a good job getting outside the pocket and picking up yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He is a very tough player, who isn't afraid to take on contact.


McDonald is a guy who isn't afraid to take risks, with that comes blunders. Once he has to go beyond his first read he starts to struggle more and get antsy. His ability to improvise just isn't where I'd like to see it in order to succeed at the NFL level. His delivery has a tendency to have a long motion, allowing for a window of easy strip-sacks. When on the run he isn't a guy who is going to juke anyone out, and doesn't have great change of direction skills at all.


McDonald had a solid college career, playing in 33 games, having an adjusted yard per attempt of 8.3, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 2.9. But when it comes to him as a QB prospect, he will need time to fully develop his game if he ever wants to become a starter in the NFL. Coming from that Hawaii spread offense, he fits more what the NFL offenses are starting to go towards. His team landing spot will be very important for his development, finding a coach that can work with his strengths. He would fit best with teams like Arizona, New Orleans, or Baltimore, where he has no pressure to be the starter any time soon, fits the scheme, and has time to develop. I see him as a day 3 prospect, who could start on the practice squad and work his way towards a solid career backup. His ceiling looks to be a low-end starter and his floor as an end of the roster QB.

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