Jets take Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald at No. 15

Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV gets set for a play during the second half of an NCAA...
Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV gets set for a play during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Ames, Iowa. Baylor won 31-24. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(Charlie Neibergall | AP)
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 9:23 PM CDT
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets selected Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald with the No. 15 overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday night.

McDonald was one of college football’s most prolific pass rushers during his career with the Cyclones, racking up 33 sacks.

The Wisconsin native joins an already stout defensive line in New York, which includes All-Pro defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and ends/edge rushers Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Bryce Huff, Jermaine Johnson and Micheal Clemons. The Jets also signed D-lineman Quinton Jefferson in free agency.

The Jets originally held the 13th overall pick, but traded that in the package they sent to Green Bay to acquire Aaron Rodgers this week.

New York received Rodgers, the No. 15 pick and a fifth-rounder this year from the Packers the 13th selection, a second-rounder and a sixth-rounder this year and a conditional 2024 second-round pick that could become a first-rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of New York’s plays this season.

The trade became official Wednesday, when Rodgers was formally introduced by the Jets at the team facility.

It was generally thought the Jets were targeting an offensive tackle, but there was a run on the position and the trade down for Rodgers likely cost them. After Ohio State’s Paris Johnson (No. 6, Arizona), Tennessee’s Darnell Wright (No. 10, Chicago) and Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski (No. 11, Tennessee) were taken, Pittsburgh traded up with New England and selected Georgia’s Broderick Jones one spot ahead of New York.

The Jets instead got a player to add depth to their D-line by taking McDonald, who had five or more sacks in each of his four full college seasons.

The Jets had three first-round picks last year, when they took cornerback Sauce Gardner at No. 4, wide receiver Garrett Wilson 10th and defensive end Jermaine Johnson at No. 26. Gardner and Wilson and Gardner became the third teammates to win the offensive and defensive rookie awards in the same season.

McDonald’s selection marked the third time the Jets picked 15th overall, joining tight end Johnny Mitchell in 1992 and defensive lineman Ron Faurot in 1984.