Where Iowa State players project in the 2023 NFL Draft

Thursday marks the start of another NFL Draft – an event that hasn’t seen a Cyclone picked in the first round in 50 years.

That could change, depending on the fate of Iowa State edge Will McDonald IV. Here’s where McDonald and his Iowa State teammates are slated to be selected in the three-day event:

Will McDonald IV
Range – 1st round, early 2nd

McDonald IV projects as a late first-round pick in the ESPN Staff Mock Draft, going No. 26 to the Dallas Cowboys. Mel Kiper ranks him as the No. 25 overall prospect in the draft and the No. 3 outside linebacker in the entire class. One of the strengths of the Dallas defense is its pass rushing, so it might not be best to read into that as hard for team fans, but it’s a possibility depending on how things shake out.

McDonald IV is one of the best chances Iowa State has had at snapping the drought, now it just comes down to what Thursday night brings.

Xavier Hutchinson
Range – Day 3

Hutchinson is slated as a fourth-round pick but could sneak into Friday with the right circumstances. Iowa State fans know better than anyone that Hutchinson’s senior season in Ames was as impressive as anybody’s. It’s most likely that Hutchinson will be picked on Saturday, but it’s something to watch for on Friday night.

Anthony Johnson Jr.
Range – Day 3

Johnson Jr. is rated as the No. 13 safety in the draft and obviously has experience at a pair of positions on the defensive level. That will be very valuable to teams, especially late in the draft process.

MJ Anderson
Range –

Anderson left Iowa State early to pursue a career in the NFL and could very well find himself drafted on Saturday. He comes in as the No. 249 overall player in the class, so if he’s not drafted, expect a solid UDFA deal to be signed.

Others to mention:

O’Rien Vance and Trevor Downing each appeared in ESPN’s position rankings, set by Todd McShay – Vance is rated No. 335 overall and is the 24th-ranked inside linebacker. Trevor Downing appears as the No. 16 center.

Catch the draft:
Round 1: Thursday at 7 p.m. CT (ESPN, ABC)
Rounds 2-3: Friday at 6 p.m. (ESPN, ABC)
Rounds 4-7: Saturday at 11:00 a.m. (ESPN with ABC simulcast)