Aaron Donald: The man of power


At 6’1’’ and 285 pounds, Aaron Donald was the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and was also presented with the honor of making the Pro Bowl in 2014. During the same rookie year, Donald also was awarded with the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and he is proving just why he is one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. 

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During the Rams’ 24-14 loss to the Colts on Saturday, the Rams showed some improvement on offense, with accurate pass play completions. However, if there is something that has remained consistent throughout this preseason, it is the tight defensive line the Rams’ have fielded. Leading this defensive line is Aaron Donald.

In his sophomore year as the starting defensive tackle in St Louis he is proving his worth in the 2015 preseason. Not only is Donald’s rushing extremely effective, but he also has the ability to swiftly shrug of the offensive linemen and make the tackle on running backs during run plays.

Nov 23, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) celebrates against the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Donald totaled two solo tackles and one assisted tackle during his abbreviated appearance against the Colts. When we take a closer look at these stats, he completed all three of these tackles during the same series, when Andrew Luck’s offense was backed up on their own 5-yard line early in the 2nd quarter.

“Donald was born with all the skills that a defensive tackle must possess, showing his quick acceleration off the line and his strong push and high elevation on opposing offensive linemen, pushing them back into the pocket.”

The first tackle was a gain of one yard for Indianapolis. The following two plays equalled a total loss of five yards, all forced by Donald, setting up 4th and 14 for the Colts. During all three plays Indianapolis decided to go with the ground game, and all three times number 99 was there to bring down running back Daniel Herron.

Don’t forget, Donald was able to accomplish all this while playing against the Colts first team offense. Not too shabby for a team that many analysts pick to contend for a Super Bowl in 2015.

It should also be noted that following this turn over, Rams quarterback Nick Foles found Chris Givens for a 44-yard touchdown which had been made possible by the defensive efforts of Donald and the St. Louis defensive line.

Donald also demonstrates versatility at the line of scrimmage, with the ability to play outside of defensive tackle, or over the nose in a base 3-4 defense. The formation chosen by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams on this particular play was his traditional base 4-3 formation, and this seemed to completely desolate the running game for the Colts.

This is a scary line-up for any offense to face, and with both Robert Quinn and Donald having an excellent preseason, the St. Louis defensive line has a chance to be the best in the NFL. Donald is a problem wherever he is positioned at the line of scrimmage, and is shaping up to be the Rams’ best defensive player in 2015.

Donald is a man of power and strength, he is the future of the Rams’ defense and a franchise player.

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