Ever since the Los Angeles Rams took defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, he has been nothing short of spectacular. Following up his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign, he threw his name in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.
After another outstanding year, Donald was voted in at No. 14 on the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2016. His 11 sacks were the highest of any defensive tackle this season while also terrorizing backfields with 22 tackles for loss.
"Aaron Donald. Future Hall of Famer." – @theDHB85
Number 14. #NFLTop100 pic.twitter.com/tD4QtVrS5I
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 30, 2016
Although one could make the case for Donald as an easy top-10 player, his jump from No. 92 to No. 14 not only makes it one of the biggest jumps in the list’s history, it also shows the respect he has earned throughout the league in just his second year.
While Donald’s combination of explosive speed and freakish power are a major part of why he has earned his second consecutive All Pro honors, it is his rare tenacity that makes him an offensive lineman’s worst nightmare.
Despite losing a few valuable pieces to free agency, the Rams were able to re-bolster their defensive line around by re-signing veteran William Hayes and bringing in former first-rounder, Quinton Coples.
Along with Todd Gurley coming in at No. 22, the future in Los Angeles certainly looks bright.