As the rumors surrounding the future of the St. Louis Rams organization continue, it is certainly one that is looking bright as defensive tackle Aaron Donald and punter Johnny Hekker earned All-Pro honors for the second straight year.
The Associated Press made the announcement on Friday, shortly after the Rams showed some love to their young stars on their official Twitter:
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 8, 2016
On top of earning his second All-Pro nod, Donald followed up his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign by throwing his name into conversations for Defensive Player of the Year with yet another outstanding season. He finished the year with 11 sacks and 69 tackles — 22 of which were for loss. This is Donald’s first All-Pro selection after making the Pro Bowl last year.
Meanwhile, Johnny Hekker posted a historic season while flying under-the-radar as arguably the league’s top punter. While Hekker led the NFL in punts due to a stagnant offense, he put the defense in great position leading the league in net punting average (43.7), gross punting average (47.9), and punts downed inside the 20 yard-line (41). Hekker is the only punter to lead in such categories since the NFL began keeping that statistic.
The Rams also saw their rookie first-round pick running back Todd Gurley get selected to second-team All-Pro. The Rams are fortunate to have talent at such key positions, as they now turn their focus to the quarterback position to help lead this promising squad.