Grading the St. Louis Rams’ First-Round Selection of Aaron Donald
After selecting Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson with the No. 2 overall pick, the St. Louis Rams were able to make an even bigger splash by acquiring Pittsburgh‘s defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the 13th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Given his talent, he easily possesses the ability to make an immediate impact in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams‘ aggressive unit.
Donald’s leverage and uncanny ability to explode off the line make him the top rated prospect at his position in this year’s class. He ran a 4.68 40-yard-dash at the NFL Scouting Combine which ranked No. 1 among the draft’s defensive tackles. At 6-foot-1, 285-pounds, Donald lacks ideal size to plug up the middle, but there should be room to add a little bulk. During his senior year at Pitt, Donald collected a total of 59 tackles (28.5 for loss), 11 sacks, three passes defended and four forced fumbles.
Adding a guy of Donald’s caliber to a corps that already consists of Pro-Bowl DE Robert Quinn, DE Chris Long, OLB Alec Ogletree, MLB James Laurinaitis and the emerging Michael Brockers make the Rams’ already disruptive front seven a force to be reckoned with. Good luck to the teams that have to face the NFC West this year; that division may just own the league’s top-four defenses when the 2014 season comes to an end.
Donald has double-digit sack and Pro-Bowl potential heading into the NFL. The Rams had an incredible first round in this year’s draft.
Overall Grade: A