Rams News: Aaron Donald Ranked No. 1 Player In NFL Going Into 2020 Season By Pro Football Focus
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus released its annual list of the top 50 NFL players going into the 2020 season, and to no surprise, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald came in at No. 1.

Donald had previously been named the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year by PFF and was ranked the No. 2 player behind Goerge Kittle for the 2019 season in addition to the No. 2 player behind Tom Brady on their All-Decade list.

By Donald’s standards, he had a bit of a down year in 2019, finishing with 48 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He was not named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year after winning the award the previous two seasons, but he was named a Pro Bowler for the sixth consecutive season (every year of his career) and an All-Pro for the fifth consecutive season, falling just one vote shy from being a unanimous decision.

PFF outlined why they feel Donald is the best player in football, coming in just ahead of Patrick Mahomes (2), Julio Jones (3), Quentin Nelson (4) and Kittle (5):

No matter how good you think Aaron Donald is, you’re underselling it. He is the best player in the NFL by a distance, and only the fact that his position doesn’t impact a game as heavily as quarterback or even receiver makes that in any way a debate. Since entering the league, Donald owns the best pressure rate, the best pass-rush win rate (factoring in wins at the line that don’t result in pressures), the best PFF pass-rushing grade and the most total pressures. He has done all this from an interior alignment on the defensive line, where pressure is harder to come by than on the edge. The gap between Donald and the next-best interior player is bigger than it is between any other player and the rest of his peers, and he remains atop this list for the fourth-straight year.

With a new defensive scheme in play in 2020 under defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, Donald should have a chance to have another DPOY-caliber season. He is still just 29 years of age and as motivated as ever to have a great season.

While the Rams have a ton of talented players on their roster, Donald was the only player on the team to make PFF’s top 50. Perhaps the most glaring admission was Jalen Ramsey, although Andrew Whitworth, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Jared Goff also could have received some recognition.