Dec 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) during the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ford Field. Pittsburgh Panthers defeated Bowling Green Falcons 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Rams Should Consider Aaron Donald at 13.


Dec 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) during the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ford Field. Pittsburgh Panthers defeated Bowling Green Falcons 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Grateful to the Washington Redskins, the St. Louis Rams will have two first round draft picks come next Thursday. The Redskins pick, that now belongs to the Rams is in the top five at number two, whereas the actual Rams pick is at number 13.

At number two the Rams have a number of options. They could do anything from trade back to take one of the best players in the draft. At number 13, the Rams have even more options, however the most popular one is for the Rams to address the secondary at that spot.

That should definitely be something the Rams address in the draft at some point, as it was the weakest spot on their defense. However, where the Rams should really take a strong look at is on the defensive line at Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Theoretically, the Rams don’t NEED a defensive tackle as they have two players that can do more than just get the job done inside with Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers. But if the Rams want to take that defensive line to the next level, taking Donald at 13 is a must.

Ive posted before that Kendall Langford may be the most underrated player on the Rams defense, but unfortunately in this situation, that is exactly who is being replaced. Donald at 22, has much more upside than Langford at 28, and there is no way the Rams would move Brockers.

Donald is a smaller defensive tackle at 6’0, 284-lbs, but he has great work ethic which a huge reason for his success. Donald has been compared to Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins and some have even gone as far as comparing him to Vikings Hall of Famer John Randle given his smaller size.

According to Ian Rapoport of nfl.com, one AFC executive said that Donald is the best defense tackle to come out in 10-years.

“Geno Atkins … I think he’s done a lot with his play in the NFL to boost the stock of Aaron Donald, who plays a similar type of game,” NFL Media analyst Charles Davis recently said. “Less than 300 pounds, but he gets up field and makes plays. He could work as that under tackle.”

Donald would be an absolute perfect fit for the Rams’ 4-3 defense that wasn’t statistically terrible against the run last season, but was inconsistent and allowed an alarming 18 rushing touchdowns last season which was tied for the 5th worst in the NFL.

Like top defensive line prospect, Jadeveon Clowney, Donald also dealt with double teams all last season. However, unlike Clowney, Donald still ended up with 59 tackles, 11 sacks, was the NCAA leader in tackles for loss, and collected nearly every major defensive award along the way.

The Rams don’t really need the extra cap space at this point in time, but there is no point in paying Langford $4-million this year and $6-million next year to simply be a rotational depth player. The Rams would either need to renegotiate with Langford or cut or trade him.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Darqueze Dennard would be nice options for the Rams and would help patch up the secondary, but if the Rams want a game changing player that can make an immediate impact, Donald is their guy.

The Rams need to address the defensive tackle position at some point in the draft. Although depth at defensive tackle is a need and Donald doesn’t bring that as he would start. But when you have the opportunity to draft a player that will make a difference, the Rams will need to strongly consider it.

 

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  • Rick Talley

    Been saying this same thing for some time now. Come on Rams , make this pick!

    • Blaine Grisak

      Ya I think this kid has potential to be great. Definitely wouldnt be disappointed

      • Gary Stewart

        to me its donald or dix at 13 the coverage skills of a safety like dix would be of great value, donald on the other hand forces the qb to go right or left instead of stepping up because he rushes up the middle so well and as you all know if the qb goes either right or left its quinn or long, i admit i like the trade down scenario to get both but my head spins thinking about robinson /matthews or mack for the defense early

  • randal shacklett

    But we already have 4 DT’s all over 6′ 5″ tall already on the roster. Dennard a better Value/need.

    • Rick Talley

      This is a great move for 2 reasons: money and qb pressure. Donald is a much better pass rusher than Langford, and Langford is on a BIG contract. As a 1st round pick, Donald would be here for 5 years at a reasonable…even cheap, salary. The Rams would save about $11 million over 2 years if Langford were cut this year by June 1. Plus, getting after the qb is the name of the game in NFC West. We need a nickel corner, but there are a lot of good CBs this year. And Donald would play 3 downs, to one or 2 for the nickel. Plus, McCleod can play nickel, and he’s not done developing. Finally, this is not a deep draft at DT, and Donald is special!

      • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

        I still would prefer keeping Langford ’til he becomes a free agent for the purpose of depth. And I prefer Clinton-Dix at FS

    • Blaine Grisak

      Im not saying at all that Dennard wouldnt be a bad pick, if the Rams take him, I won’t be disappointed, the Rams had their fair share of problems in the secondary last season. However, something just to think about, this class is deep at the cornerback position, not the same can be said about defensive tackle. At 28, there really isn’t much more upside for Langford. The Rams might have a chance to take a special player in Donald, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t take it.

  • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

    How about a trade down to #10 (getting the Lions 2015 pick too) Draft Donald and HCD or Dennard at 13.