LA Rams DT Aaron Donald sets NFL record

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald earns 5th All-Pro status in six years

When the Los Angeles Rams drafted University of Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the 13th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, it was a solid low-risk selection. This was the year when the Rams also used the second pick of the draft to select offensive tackle Greg Robinson from Auburn University.  If you don’t remember Robinson, you are not alone.  Robinson did not even warrant the team exercising the fifth year option.  That’s not a good conclusion for the second pick from any draft.

But Donald has more than made up the difference.  A stout defensive tackle who has taken the NFL by storm, he continues to out-hustle and out-play his competition as easily as his opponents.  He plays so well, in fact, that he has just set a record for earning his fifth All-Pro status in just his first six season in the NFL.

Donald is not the largest defensive lineman in the NFL.  Standing just 6-foot-1 and weighing in at 280 pounds, he is oftentimes dwarfed by the offensive lineman he faces on a weekly basis.  But nothing and nobody commands more determination, strength, and agility.  And from the 2014 NFL Draft class whose players include edge rusher Khalil Mack or wide receiver Mike Evans, Aaron Donald earned honors as the best player from the class of 2014.

Donald does not produce in cycles. He is a driven defensive juggernaut who shows up for each play, each game, and each season. In just six NFL seasons, Donald has already accounted for 312 tackles and 72 sacks.  That translates into an average of 52 tackles and 12 sacks per season for each year.  Not bad considering he plays on the defensive line.

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Donald is a young man just coming into the prime of his NFL career. Soon to be 29, he is at the peak of his NFL production. That’s very good news for the Los Angeles Rams, and heartbreaking news for NFL opponents. While the team did re-sign him to a large contract, his production makes that a bargain even at that price.

While the Los Angeles Rams have their hands full with reloading the roster for a 2020 playoff run, they have a star caliber defensive lineman to build around for the foreseeable future.