Cole McDonald's got a big windup to fix to have chance with Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Trevor Siemian is the one seventh-round quarterbacking success story in the last 10 years.

Beside him, Greg McElroy threw 1 touchdown pass and nine others have done virtually nothing.

It makes you wonder why the Titans would even take a flier on Cole McDonald, the Hawaii quarterback they selected with pick 224.mcdonald cole 3

(Photo courtesy Hawaii athletics.)

He’s got some arm strength, speed and athleticism which surely made him appealing. He said he is working to be more flexible, put on some weight to better absorb hits and work to be a more well-rounded athlete. But the odds are stacked agains a guy picked so late becoming an effective backup in the NFL. [Unlocked.]

The Titans drafted Luke Falk in the sixth round in 2018, cut him at the end of camp and watched Miami claim him before Tennessee could get him onto its practice squad.

With rosters effectively expanded from 53 to 55 and practices squads up from 10 to 12 under the new CBA, a team can probably be more patient with a developmental quarterback.

Though if the Titans go with what they’ve got, Logan Woodside is in line to backup Ryan Tannehill while McDonald starts to learn.

And those lessons are likely to starts with a revamp of his throwing motion.

“I have a long windup,” he said. “So in terms of this offseason, in terms of eliminating that long winding loop and being more proficient with my throwing mechanics, in terms of delivery will lead to me being a better quarterback. That’s kind of what I am working on this process mowing forward before camp starts up and I’m excited.”

Typically, such a flaw is baked into a quarterback by the time he is coming out of college, but McDonald is optimistic about being able to correct and revise things.Draft2020 3D

“I’ve worked on it every day, there is nothing else to do,” he said. “At any level a person can always keep evolving, they can always keep pursuing, they can always keep elevating their game.”

Former Titans scout Blake Beddingfield said McDonald’s throwing motion is the root of his main issue – a .614 completion percentage.

“That will be difficult to change but it has to happen because it causes his lack of accuracy,” he said. “He does have arm strength.”

Jon Robinson said the Titans really like "the athlete energy, leadership" and the skills to develop."

As for the throwing motion, he's been monitoring the offseason work.

"He sent us some videos of some things that he's been doing with his technique and his training," he said. "He's working to kind of tighten that thing up -- no pun intended there. We like the arm and coach Pat O'Hara and Arthur Smith they do a good job with those quarterbacks and feel confident that we will hopefully be able to mold his tools."

In game-mode – “gunslinger mode,” McDonald called it – success and time dictated he and his coaches didn’t undergo a big renovation project.

He’d time his release and it would be quicker than most even given the big windup.

But he knew a big fix was ahead and it’s been his big project since the end of his final season with the Warriors.

“It’s definitely my main focus right now and it’s going really well,” he said.

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