Photo of Aaron Donald
Drafted By: Rams
  • Round 1
  • Pick 13
  • Overall 13

Combine Results

Grade
6.34 ?
  • 4.68 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 35 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 32.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 116.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.11 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.39 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"Donald is a disruptive one-gap three-technique defensive tackle. The lack of size (6-foot-1, 285 pounds) concerns some teams, but not me. He had a really big week at the Senior Bowl. He's as quick a defensive tackle I've seen since Geno Atkins." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 32 5/8" Arm Length
  • 285LBS. Weight
  • 9 7/8" Hands

Overview

Native Pennsylvanian. Played all 13 games as a true freshman in 2010, recording 11 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks with two passes batted in a reserve role. Saw action in 13 games in '11, playing every down lineman position in the 3-4 scheme, and registered 47-16-11 with four passes batted and one forced fumble. Finished second in the Big East in sacks and tackles for losses despite not starting until the final five weeks of the campaign (defensive end). In '12, he had 64-18.5-5.5 with two passes batted and one forced fumble in 12 starts. Led the conference in tackles for losses. Missed the Gardner-Webb game after his right knee was scoped. Was honored with numerous awards during his All-America campaign at defensive tackle in '13, tallying 59-28.5-11 with three passes batted, four forced fumbles and one blocked extra point in 13 starts. Team captain was the first Pitt defensive player to earn unanimous All-America honors since Hugh Green in 1980. Also was the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Award, the Outland Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award. Was the NCAA leader in tackles for loss.

Analysis

Strengths

Quick off the snap. Plays with natural leverage. Gets under pads and into gaps and is highly disruptive penetrating. Explosive in short area -- recorded a 1.64-second 10-yard split at the combine. Good foot athlete -- redirects well and can work the edges and loop and stunt. Flexible enough to zone-drop in short area. Plays with awareness and consistently locates the ball. Closes hard and fast. Keeps working to the ball. Disruptive penetrating ability. Outstanding career production. Tough and competitive with terrific personal and football character. Ran the fastest 40-yard dash by a defensive tackle and the combine and bench-pressed 225 pounds 35 times. Was unblockable in Senior Bowl 1-on-1 drills.

Weaknesses

Marginal height and frame is nearly maxed out. Hands are more active than strong -- could play with more pop and power. Overpowered in the run game and ground up by double teams. Gets snared and controlled by bigger, longer blockers. Not a two-gap player. Has some tweener traits -- lacks ideal length and bend to play outside.

Draft Projection

Round 1

Bottom Line

Short, scrappy, instinctive, highly productive defensive penetrator who does not look the part, but inspires confidence he can be an exception to the rule. Is the type you root for and has the first-step quickness, athleticism and motor to emerge as a havoc-wreaking three-technique in a fast-flowing 4-3 scheme such as the one deployed in Dallas, Chicago and Tampa Bay. Compares very favorably to (Tampa Bay 1999 15th overall pick) Booger McFarland and is a key building block and classic scheme fit for Tampa 2 teams.
-Nolan Nawrocki
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.

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