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2015 NFL DRAFT

2014 NFL combine: Pitt's Aaron Donald -- not Clowney -- big winner

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

Aaron Donald had some imressive workout numbers at the combine. (NFL Network)
Aaron Donald had some imressive workout numbers at the combine. (NFL Network)

More Draft: NFL Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | NFL combine workout results

South Carolina superstar Jadeveon Clowney proved well worth his build-up by dazzling Monday morning with a pair of sub-4.50 second sprints in the 40-yard dash.

In doing so, he'll likely steal the spotlight from another highly productive defender whose workout could actually impact his draft status even more than Clowney's, NFLDraftScout.com's top overall prospect.

Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 22 overall prospect, was unofficially clocked at 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a jaw-dropping time for an interior defensive linemen, even one with less than ideal size at 6-feet-1 and 285 pounds. Donald proved on Sunday that his explosiveness isn't limited to his speed, posting 35 repetitions of 225 pounds -- one behind Boston College's Kaleb Ramsey to lead all defensive linemen tested this year. Donald's success on the bench press is all the more impressive given that he possesses disproportionately long arms (32 5/8 inches) for his height.

Best of all, Donald is far from just a workout warrior.

He starred at the Senior Bowl, ranking as arguably the week's most disruptive defender throughout the all-important week of practice. This, of course, comes off of a 2013 campaign in which the unanimous first-team All-American was recognized with the Outland Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Award and CBSSports.com Defensive Player of the Year with 59 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and four forced fumbles in 13 games.

Donald has excellent burst off the snap, quickly penetrating gaps to wreak havoc in the opponents' backfield. While he lacks the size of a traditional defensive tackle, his ability to impact quarterbacks from the interior makes him a potential star as a three-technique, especially given how the NFL is increasingly turning to the passing game.

Donald's frame likely limits him to the 4-3 with the Chicago Bears (owners of the 14th overall pick) and the Dallas Cowboys (16th) potential landing spots.

 
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