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2015 NFL DRAFT

Aaron Donald, DT

School: Pittsburgh  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 285 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
1011

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.622.691.6335 329'8"4.397.11
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

  • Minnesota Vikings | #8
    Put yourself in new head coach Mike Zimmer's position. He inherited Adrian Peterson. How can is the head coach to convince the game's best running back that Minnesota is trying to win now by taking a rookie quarterback here? Adding Donald, who some compare to former Vikings' great John Randle, sends the right message and is more in line with Zimmer's aggressive style.
  • Minnesota Vikings | #8
    Best player on the board or quarterback? The Vikings desperately need an identity at quarterback, something Derek Carr or Teddy Bridgewater could bring to Minnesota. But more of a "sure thing" might be the direction here and Aaron Donald would be Mike Zimmer's new Geno Atkins.
  • Minnesota Vikings | #8
    They get their next John Randle here to really stockpile talent inside.
  • Dallas Cowboys | #8
    If Dallas doesn't get Donald, the Rod Marinelli defense will not work well enough to make the playoffs. Whatever it takes for Jerry Jones to get up here and get him, or he may have to play against him in a Giant uniform.
 

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Made more than 100 plays behind the line of scrimmage and is easily the best disrupter in the draft. It's not just as a pass rusher. He comes up with tackles for losses, as well. He is a quick, explosive player who gets to the quarterback.

Comes off the snap like he's shot out of a cannon. His first step routinely beats opponents for immediate pressures. Has an effective arm-over swim move, though he doesn't use this often enough. His stature gives Donald the leverage advantage which he uses well to get under the pads of opponents and drive them into the backfield on bull-rushes.

WEAKNESSES: As with most undersized pass-rushers, when Donald's burst is contained his short arms limit his effectiveness. Donald keeps his legs churning and plays with effort, but he can get caught up in the hand-to-hand combat.

At a shade under 6-foot-1 and 288 pounds, he projects best as a pass-rush specialist three-technique defensive tackle in the 4-3 alignment. Donald could emerge as a 8-10 sack threat in the NFL but he'll almost certainly be doing so as a rotational player.

COMPARES TO: John Randle, ex-Vikings/Seahawks - Like Randle, Donald is a virtual Energizer Bunny, demonstrating rare hustle for an interior lineman. He's explodes off the snap and uses his natural leverage advantage and surprising power to overwhelm blockers and is effective against both the run and pass.

Player Overview

Short but not small at 6-foot, 3/4 inches, 285 pounds, Donald was the most dominant defensive college football player in 2013 after totaling 59 tackles, including 28.5 for a loss, 11 sacks, 16 QB hurries, four forced fumbles and a blocked extra point. He received the whole list of famous name awards to commemorate his season.

Despite an array of schemes designed to slow him down, Donald was an unblockable force. He followed that season with great Senior Bowl workout and then stole the show at the combine where he blasted through 40 yards in 4.68, had a 32-inch vertical and benched 225 pounds 35 times.

Donald is a can't-miss, hyperactive disrupter who dazes opponents at the snap with a dazzling John Randle-type skill set. Unlike Randle, who went undrafted then made Hall of Fame, Donald will begin his career as a first round pick, says here.

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Player News
05/12/2014 - Snead said the Rams were so glad to get Donald that they never considered trading down. "We're jacked with the pick," he said. "He's very productive and way ahead at this point in hand use. He's an impressive young man." Although Donald is 6-foot-1, 285 pounds, Snead said he won't be asked to get bigger. "His game isn't size," Snead said. "He's short, but that helps him get leverage. Getting bigger wouldn't help him. His game is not size. His game is to penetrate." And that he did, totaling 66 tackles for loss in four seasons at Pittsburgh, including 28.5 in 2013. For his part, Donald said he's "excited" to be with the Rams. "They have the best defensive line in the NFL and I'm pumped up to be a part of it," he said. "I can't wait to get with the coaches and get to work." - The Sports Xchange
 

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