Rams’ Aaron Donald wins Pro Football Focus Defensive Player of the Year
The Los Angeles Rams weren’t able to make the playoffs in 2019 after making the Super Bowl in 2018 but that didn’t prevent Aaron Donald from having a magnificent season again. Due to his dominance in 2019, Donald was named the Defensive Player of the Year at Pro Football Focus.
— PFF (@PFF) January 20, 2020
Before the 2019 season, Donald had strung together back-to-back AP Defensive Player of the Year Awards for the Rams. While he was a disruptive force in 2019, he likely won’t take home the hardware for the third straight season.
However, Pro Football Focus understands that Donald is still the best defensive player that resides in the NFL. Even in a so-called down-season, Donald tallied 12.5 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, 24 quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles.
Last year, Donald nearly surpassed Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record with 20.5 of them. Therefore, the standards for the All-Pro defensive tackle were heightened heading into 2019.
For the past couple of seasons, Donald has been constantly double or triple-teamed by opposing teams. The attention that Donald commands from opposing teams is telling on how talented he truly is.
In an NFL that is tailored for quarterbacks to rule the league, Donald is changing the game at the defensive tackle position. Even as an interior defender, the Rams’ six-time Pro Bowler is arguably the best pass rusher in the entire NFL.
The next Defensive Player of the Year with likely be decided from the likes of Chandler Jones, Shaq Barrett, or Stephon Gilmore. Despite those guys having phenomenal seasons, the Rams superstar was still the most dominant defensive player in the NFL.