The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors’ quarterback, Cole McDonald, announced his declaration into the 2020 NFL draft.
Cole McDonald, the gunslinger from the University of Hawaii announced on twitter yesterday that he would be taking his talented arm to the NFL. It came as a shock to most; he still has a ton of developing to do on the mental side of the game, but likely a day-3 prospect, he should have the chance to do so before taking the field.
McDonald led the Rainbow Warriors to a successful season, relative to their standards. They accomplished their first double-digit win season since 2010, they were in their first conference championship game as members of the Mountain West Conference (ultimately, losing that game to Boise State), and they successfully beat the BYU — in the Hawaii Bowl — for the first time since 1992. Most of their accomplishments can be attributed to the success of their quarterback who amassed over 450 passing yards in their win over BYU.
If you were to look the word gunslinger in a picture dictionary, Cole McDonald would be the photo right next to it. He doesn’t quite have a grip on the mental processing factors of being a quarterback, but the kid can sling the rock.
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In two years as Hawaii’s starting quarterback, he threw for over 8,000 yards and totaled 70 passing touchdowns. McDonald also has the ability to make things happen with his feet, in his junior year he ran for 381 yards and 7 touchdowns — over his entire career, he tallied 878 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns.
McDonald is likely to be selected later in the draft because of his habit of turning the ball over (14 interceptions as a junior), but for a team looking to add some depth at the quarterback position or perhaps bring in a guy to develop to take over the starting role in couple years, he could certainly be that guy. He is going to need time to sit back and develop a better understanding of the game, but the arm talent is certainly there.
An interesting landing spot for him could be with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if they decide to keep Jameis Winston around for another year on the franchise tag. Whether it is the right call or not, McDonald is in as he looks to take his game to the next level.