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NY Jets film review: Will McDonald flashed in limited reps

Will McDonald, NY Jets, Film Breakdown, Blewett
Will McDonald, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

Can Will McDonald break out in a bigger role?

When the New York Jets selected Will McDonald in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, he entered a stacked defensive line room – one that would make it hard for him to earn playing time. This turned out to be the case, as McDonald wound up playing only 19% of the Jets’ defensive snaps across his 15 rookie-year appearances.

Heading into his second year, McDonald is poised to see a much bigger role. The exits of Bryce Huff and John Franklin-Myers have opened up plenty of snaps on the edge, which will be mostly taken up by Haason Reddick and McDonald.

After Huff and Franklin-Myers combined for 117 pressures last year, the Jets are counting on a big leap from McDonald to make up for the lost production. Luckily, the Jets have good reasons to be optimistic that McDonald is capable of doing just that. While McDonald hardly played as a rookie, he was efficient when given opportunities. On just 99 pass-rush snaps, McDonald was in on four sacks (two full, two half) while recording 12 total pressures. He added a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

In the latest Blewett’s Blitz film review, we break down McDonald’s moments of promise during his short time on the field as a rookie. In addition, we touch on some of the areas where he must improve if he is going to fulfill his first-round potential.

The FULL, member-only Will McDonald film breakdown (22 plays) can be found beneath the YouTube snippet (must be a Jets X-Factor member and logged into the site). 

Member-only Will McDonald film breakdown

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