Arm Accuracy - Improved consistency in 2019 with some apparent delivery tweaks. He's capable of some gorgeous dimes but because of irregular timing, spot throws and anticipation flare up in misfires too often. Leads receivers into hospital balls too often, too — would like more awareness to shade throws away from defenders.
Decision Making - He's got some real gaffes. Almost oblivious at times to underneath zone defenders. Needs to see it to sling it in many instances as a result he's late on the throw and will put the ball in jeopardy. When the turnovers come, they come in bunches and in avoidable situations.
Progressions - He's not afraid to use the full field thanks to high amount of spacing in college offense. The speed of his progressions is a different story — he'll need to become much quicker in order to check through targets at the NFL level and consistently find open throwing windows to hit targets beyond the first read.
Anticipation - This isn't a strength. He'll wait until receivers are uncovered before confidently zipping throws in. His presence in the pre-snap for pressure looks isn't strong either, he'll get caught off guard off the edge or with an extra A gap defender and plays will derail from there.
Poise - Appreciate his willingness to just keep swinging down field. He can be quick to drop the eyes and tuck the ball, where his athleticism could become a huge threat if he was more present to keep his eyes up with more consistency. Has presence of mind to take throw aways when rolling to the boundary.
Arm Strength - Cannon arm with all the juice you could possibly hope for. He'll get away with late delivery on some of his sideline throws because of how much juice he gets on the ball. Strong ability to push vertically and with pace, too. Big-time ability as a thrower on the move to generate heat and nail coverage busts.
Pocket Awareness - Looked a little cleaner here in 2019, so appreciate the growth. There's willingness to stand tall within the pocket and he shows feel for when to get off his spot versus collapsing pressure up the middle. He's not nuanced in working inside the pocket, but rather shows internal clock to get outside and extend.
Mechanics - There's some Philip Rivers in his arm slot — wonky catapult style delivery but it works for him. Definitely cut down on his loop of the ball in release from 2018, too. Would like some more variance in his arm slot to get more height throwing down to targets off the pitcher's mound, would aid in MOF accuracy.
Footwork - Feet are fairly casual — he's a gun passer who did appear to improve his balance on platform at the top of his drop. He's not super light footed due to stride length and he'll need some real estate in front of him to ensure accurate throws with consistency — won't operate very clean in a crowded room without weight transfer.
Run Ability - Get him on the edge and he'll surprise you. Will do well with RPO concepts and have seen a select few reps of speed option too. Open field burst is strong and he's got some power behind his pads, too — looked to bulk a little bit this past offseason and should hold up with some wear and tear of hits that come from running.
Best Trait - Physical Tools
Worst Trait - Football IQ
Best Film - BYU (2019)
Worst Film - Washington (2019)
Red Flags - None
Player Summary - Cole McDonald projects as a developmental quarterback the the NFL level. McDonald has several desirable traits, including flashes of arm talent, athleticism and the size of a prototypical passer — but he is a point and shoot passer by design in Hawaii's Run-N-Shoot offense. The mental side of the game is going to need to be reconstructed from the foundation and as such McDonald should be considered a low risk, high reward prospect late in the NFL Draft. Great tools but a long way out.