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Thread: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

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    Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    By Jim Thomas

    Aaron Donald stood out in the crowd even though he probably was the shortest _ and smallest _ defensive tackle at the Senior Bowl. At a shade under 6-1 and 285 pounds, he was virtually unblockable in Mobile, Ala., working against some of the better offensive linemen in the draft.

    Then again, it's been that way for Donald throughout his college career at Pittsburgh. Last year at Pitt, he won just about every honor a defensive lineman can win: the Nagurski, Bednarik, Outland, and Rotary Lombardi awards. He was the Panthers' first unanimous first-team all-American on defense since the great Hugh Green in 1980.

    And why not? He basically lived behind the line of scrimmage in 2013, with 28 1/2 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and four forced fumbles, using his superior quickness and penetration skills. Those would be great numbers for a defensive end, but they're almost unheard for an interior defensive lineman.

    Even so, there are some who wonder if Donald can hold up in the NFL going up against blockers that are four, five inches taller, and in some cases 40 and 50 pounds heavier.

    "It never got to me," Donald said, when asked if he grows tired of answering questions about his size. "Thinking about it isn't going to get me any taller. All I can do is go play the game of football the way I play it: hard-nosed, out there trying to make plays."

    Defensive tackles with the kind of pass-rush skills Donald possess are hard to find, which might explain why the Rams brought him in for a pre-draft visit. Sure, there are going to be running plays where he gets splattered by mammoth offensive linemen.

    But imagine him as the No. 3 "d-tackle" in the Rams' rotation behind starters Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford, disrupting things on passing downs. Several years ago, the Rams got some good production from La'Roi Glover as his career was winding down. But they really haven't had a strong interior pass rusher since Pro Bowler D'Marco Farr more than a decade ago.

    As far-fetched as it may seem given the Rams' needs in the secondary and the offensive line, Donald may be a possibility at No. 13 overall if the Rams don't get edge-rushers Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack at No. 2 overall. (Or more likely in the case of Mack, a little lower than No. 2 in a trade-down).

    "You never know," Donald said, when asked where he'll get drafted. "All I can do is my part, and keep trying to open up eyes with what I did on the football field, what I did in my career on film. Just go out there and try to compete and shock a couple more people.

    "I feel like I can make an impact right away."


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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    I've wanted Aaron Donald for a while. Nothing has changed. He's going to be a hell of a player.


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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    I like Donald but in a run first division, no thanks.

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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    I have my latest mock coming out soon and I took him at 13. Just feel he's better then any S or CB that could be on the board. The need is not as great but he's too good to pass on IMO.

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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..



    Do NOT sleep on my guy Aaron Donald. He may be small but he has no shortcomings vs. the run. Donald is a complete prospect with a lightning quick first step and active and violent hands. Those coupled with football intelligence and his very high character = all pro.


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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post


    Do NOT sleep on my guy Aaron Donald. He may be small but he has no shortcomings vs. the run. Donald is a complete prospect with a lightning quick first step and active and violent hands. Those coupled with football intelligence and his very high character = all pro.
    How quick and good is this guy??!! Watching the highlights, he was making a tackle behind the line of scrimmage before I could pick up on what's going on. That is fast! Yes we need FS/CB, yes we need OT, and maybe WR but I would LOVE to have this guy. Size or not he is a stud!
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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    Not just lightening fast quickness, but a hell of a lot of power in that frame in there too. He's knocking back two lineman, bull rushing them, add to that the fast twitch stuff and he is a beast!
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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    More than one mock has him going to us in this draft at 13, he would add allot to our rotation even if he does not start for a couple years. I still would love to get some other pieces besides just D-Line but I understand why people love this guy! Seen one recent mock has us taking Clowney and Donald in the first round, talk about stacking the D-Line up to the roof... We would be the most dominant D-Line in the NFL bar none with that group. I bet Williams would love that! LOL

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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Unspoken View Post
    I like Donald but in a run first division, no thanks.
    Aaron Donald plays the run as well as any DT in this draft, plus he's by far the best pass rusher of the group. That is why he's the number one DT on most everybody's draft board.

    People forget this guy did 35 reps at the combine. By comparison Greg Robinson who outweighs Donald by a whopping 47 lbs. did 32. And as if that wasn't impressive enough, he outran and outlifted all of the top Olinemen in this draft.

    Beyond that, there is a distinct leverage advantage to being 3 to 5 inches shorter than your opposition, particularly when you're as strong as Aaron Donald.

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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Unspoken View Post
    I like Donald but in a run first division, no thanks.
    That interior pressure he provides is going to make scrambling QBs more vulnerable when we play DE contain.
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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    Aaron Donald plays the run as well as any DT in this draft, plus he's by far the best pass rusher of the group. That is why he's the number one DT on most everybody's draft board.

    People forget this guy did 35 reps at the combine. By comparison Greg Robinson who outweighs Donald by a whopping 47 lbs. did 32. And as if that wasn't impressive enough, he outran and outlifted all of the top Olinemen in this draft.

    Beyond that, there is a distinct leverage advantage to being 3 to 5 inches shorter than your opposition, particularly when you're as strong as Aaron Donald.
    I can't believe how under the radar he is going right now. Unbelievable. He absolutely dominated during the season, was an absolute beast throughout the entire Senior Bowl and took the previous consensus top OG in the draft (Cyril Richardson) and embarrassed him and turned him into a 3rd/4th rounder, absolutely murdered the combine, and still he is under-the-radar.

    Just listen to this guy:




    Such a bright guy. He's very genuine and relaxed, it seems very natural. He is a high character guy and a hard working individual. Not to mention he has God given talent. This is why I think he'll be absolutely dominant at the NFL level.

    Look at this guy at the combine:



    Look at Donald bull-rush and put Cyril Richardson on his arse.. Talk about power and a great arsenal of pass rushing moves:

    https://imgflip.com/gif/69yxi
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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    Maybe its a good thing he is under the radar. Yeah, all needs aside I want this guy!

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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    Big problem with this is a LOT of mocks have Donald going no lower then the Giants. In fact a lot of mocks have him going to NY and given their focus on their line I can see that being the case. So very possibly might not get the chance to get him at all. :-(
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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    I can't believe how under the radar he is going right now. Unbelievable. He absolutely dominated during the season, was an absolute beast throughout the entire Senior Bowl and took the previous consensus top OG in the draft (Cyril Richardson) and embarrassed him and turned him into a 3rd/4th rounder, absolutely murdered the combine, and still he is under-the-radar.
    ...how the heck is Aaron Donald "under the radar?"

    He's had an Amobi Okoye-like rise this offseason from a second day prospect to the consensus top DT in this class. He currently ranks as a Top 20 prospect by Gil Brandt, a Top 12 prospect by Mel Kiper and Todd McShay's Scouts Inc, and a Top 10 prospect both by CBS Sports' prospect rankings and Rob Rang's personal big board.

    In the five most recent mock drafts on CBS Sports, he comes off the board anywhere between 8th and 14th. In the eight projections on NFL.com's site, he comes off the board between 10th and 16th. Kiper and McShay both have him coming off the board @ 14 in their latest respective mocks.

    "Under the radar?"


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    Re: Donald proves big things come in small packages ..

    I look at it this way...

    Assume "need" can be categorized on a scale of 1 to 3. 3 would be a position with a need for an immediate starter (i.e. FS). 2 would be a position with an immediate need for a depth/rotation player (i.e. SLB). 1 would be a "luxury" position, where the Rams have a quality starter and at least one viable depth/rotation player.

    I'd have DT designated as a CAT1. Brockers and Langford are solid starters, and Carrington gives us quality depth.

    So, when I think of a guy like Donald, I have the same reservations that I have with a guy like Jadeveon Clowney - potentially great player, but can we afford the luxury?

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