One way to instantly upgrade your defensive line is to draft the best defensive tackle in college football and that's exactly what St. Louis did on Thursday -- making its already intimidating defensive line even more intimidating.
CBSSports.com senior writer Pete Prisco thought the Rams made a great move.
Donald: What a great pic from the Rams. They get one of the best defensive players in the draft at this spot. GRADE:A http://t.co/KPxAyHqyNs— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) May 9, 2014
In Donald, the Rams are getting one of the most decorated players in Pitt history. In 2013 alone, Donald won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. Not only that, but the defensive tackle was also named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and CBSSports.com Defensive Player of the Year after leading the country with 28 tackles-for-loss.
As an interior lineman, the 6-foot, 285-pound Donald should thrive playing alongside Quinn and Long. The former Pitt star should be able to contribute right away as a rookie to what will be a formidable defensive line.
St. Louis Rams defensive line: Chris Long (DE) Kendall Langford (DT) Aaron Donald (DT) Michael Brockers (DT) Robert Quinn (DE) That's filthy— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) May 9, 2014
There is one weakness when it comes to Donald though: According to NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang, it's his short arms. "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," Rang says.
Here are some of the fiscal details...
Aaron Donald should sign a fully GTD 4-year, $10,136,500 deal with a $1.843M '14 cap number. His signing bonus should be $5.692M.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) May 9, 2014
Donald's selection ends a three-year drought for Pitt. The school hadn't had a player selected since Kansas City took Jonathan Baldwin in the first round of the 2011 draft. It's been even longer since the Panthers have had defensive tackle taken. Before 2014, the last Pitt defensive tackle to go at any point in the draft was Sean Gilbert, who went third overall to the Rams in 1992.