LA Rams News: All-Pro DT Donald 2nd in PFFs All-Decade list
The LA Rams truly landed an elite defender in All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. That fact was once more validated as he appeared as the second-best player of the NFL in the past decade per Pro Football Focus. He was selected by the LA Rams in the 2014 NFL Draft at 13. While that is perceived as an unlucky number, that has proven to be one of the luckiest picks for the Rams in their history.
Donald is a 6-foot-1 280-pound defensive lineman who single-handedly salvaged the Rams’ 2014 draft class. In that year, the Rams chose Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson with the second overall pick of the draft. Not only did he not fulfill the promise of the second overall pick, but he struggled to play at the NFL level at any position, for any coach. Swinging and missing so badly with the second pick of any draft oftentimes sets the team’s progress back significantly. But thankfully, the Rams had a second first-round pick in that draft.
Donald was the opposite. Whatever he was asked to do on the defense by any coach, he delivered at an elite level. Despite playing on a 3-4 defensive front, he has accumulated 72 quarterback sacks in just six seasons.
In fact, the biggest reason why he did not earn the top ranking (Tom Brady was ranked number one) was his arrival to the NFL occurred in 2014. But even as a rookie, he has been an elite NFL defender who truly has never looked back. In fact, he could easily be described as a workout junkie who happens to play football. His workout regiment is legendary.
And it is that dedication to working on self-improvement on his own, a self-motivated to improve himself which has not given him time to pause, or even to find contentment in his accomplishments. He is a workout warrior, and even in the midst of social distancing, his workout videos flood social media. If you want to be impressed, check them out sometime. Keep in mind that he is a 280-pound powerhouse, yet he plays lightly on his feet like a ballet dancer.
Aaron Donald is one-of-a-kind in the NFL today and will remain one of the most formidable defenders in 2020. The LA Rams defense is a work-in-progress at this point, but by the time the NFL season begins, the team should have a significantly improved defense. After all, Donald’s presence on the football field is like having an extra defender.