It is no secret Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is really good. However, many thought it would be difficult for the former Defensive Rookie of the Year to improve on back-to-back spectacular seasons. Then again, Donald is not your average player.
As surprising as it may seem, Donald finally recorded his first sack of the season against the Arizona Cardinals in a 17-13 victory in Week 4. He finished the game with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble to earn NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors:
Aaron Donald. Your NFC Defensive Player of the Week. #MobSquad pic.twitter.com/GXYcNEA5vQ
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) October 5, 2016
It was the third time in the last 20 weeks that he has taken home such honors. The two-time Pro Bowler has been graded at the top of his position every week up to this point by Pro Football Focus. His 25 total pressures in just four games puts him on pace for over a 100 on the season, which is unheard of for an interior defender — even Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt needed to spend some time on the edge to garner that many pressures.
Meanwhile, Donald’s 96.1 rating pass-rush grade is by far and ahead of the next best score, which belongs to the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson at 82.5. Although he was criticized for being undersized coming out of Pittsburgh, Donald’s skill set is so versatile that it more than makes up for it.
Donald has a little extra edge in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills after the former 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft said he recalls the comments head coach Rex Ryan made a few years back.