On Monday, Pro Football Focus released their top 101 players from the 2015 season as DE William Hayes was placed at No. 93, but another Ram stole the spotlight.
Thursday PFF posted their top 25 with one Ram taking the No. 1 crown as he moved up 17 spots from his rookie year. Yes, defensive end Aaron Donald was ranked the #1 player in the NFL by PFF with a score 99.9 out of 100. Wanna know why Aaron Donald is the #1 player in the NFL? Simple, he’s a beast.
"Dethroning J.J. Watt from atop of the PFF Top 101 takes some serious production. Coming into this season, Watt was the No. 1 name on the list for three straight years following his breakout sophomore campaign, and it looked like he would remain there as long as he stayed on the field. For Aaron Donald to force himself into the same kind of echelon already in his career is truly staggering.Donald was the highest-graded interior defender in the league, and in his second season—just like Watt—he pushed that grade into the stratosphere. The Rams’ star may not have posted the kind of numbers Watt did, but Donald played exclusively inside as a defensive tackle, whereas Watt has become a true edge rusher, a position that typically generates far better stats than their interior teammates. Donald still ended the season with 79 total pressures and 51 defensive stops, and actually gained more pressure on a per-rush basis than the Texan.Donald may have the quickest first step in the game among linemen, and was a constant presence in the backfield of offenses, blowing up plays against the run and pass with frightening regularity. He may not have the ideal size that teams look for, but there was no better NFL player in 2015"
Donald was an under the radar player before the selections were chosen for PFF. There was talk all over social media that the Defensive player of the year was either between J.J Watt, Luke Kuechly and Khalil Mack. Donald was not even in the mix. Look at this tweet, nobody thought Aaron Donald would win defensive player of the year, but here he is today, being claim the best player in the NFL.
When Donald gave the Rams their first victory of the 2015 season by exploding through a 4th and 1 run play called by the Seahawks, Jeff Fisher had this to say. “The way Aaron Donald played, I can’t remember seeing a tackle have an impact on a game the way Aaron Donald did in this game,”
Fisher has been around the game of football for a long time, that is a true statement by the Coach. Donald may have been “quiet” in the NFL fan community, nobody really knowing him with the Rams being below average the past couple of years, but mark my words. Los Angeles Rams Defensive End Aaron Donald will win at least 2 defensive player of the year awards in his career. I’ve studied this outstanding beast of a man since college, and I have not seen someone more than Donald who can change the game in a matter of plays.
Aaron Donald deserves to be called the #1 player in the National Football League Today. ‘Hard Knocks’ may be all over new franchise quarterback Jared Goff and Todd Gurley in the summer, but fans across the NFL need to realize the most talented player in this league is on the Rams defensive line.