LA Rams Aaron Donald turns 30, and he’s at the top of his game

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald has redefined the role of an NFL defensive lineman. When he was drafted in 2014, he was once described as a defensive lineman too small, too chaotic, promising techniques but limited in his impact for a future NFL career. So much for that nonsense.

It’s a lifestyle that he has committed to.  A 24 by 7 commitment to taking strict care of his body to be at his peak performance each and every day. It’s not something that can be worn like a nice suit and then removed to kick back and enjoy. Being the best at what he does means always improving.

That’s not just being better than other players in the NFL. It’s reforming the best version of himself each and every day.  Based on what we saw of his game in 2020, he’s doing a damn good job of it. In 16 games, he was able to play 865 defensive snaps, amassing 45 tackles, and 13.5 quarterback sacks.  Keep in mind that he is a defensive lineman, and is typically facing double or triple-team blockers on each snap. He knows how to work hard.

But there is the flip side to it all. Work hard, play hard. And yes, Aaron Donald knows how to feed his soul by having some fun and laughter. Just check out the video below featuring Aaron, his new fiance’ Erica Sherman, and two beautiful children: daughter Jaelynn Donald, and his son Aaron Donald Jr.

Aaron Donald is the NFL equivalent to a cheat code. In the latest EA Madden 21, he made the lofty 99-club, a player whose game rating is 99, for the fourth time. And yet, some would argue that he deserves a 100 rating.

Yes, Aaron Donald is on track to be a first-ballot NFL Hall-of-Famer. But there comes a time when the individual awards, honors, and accolades are no longer enough. Donald had an emotional moment after losing to the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.  And celebrating his 30th birthday within months of that defeat, there is no doubt that the Rams star defensive lineman is even more determined to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

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Of course, the Rams are showing just as much urgency in doing so.  Hopefully, 2021 is the year that it happens.