PHOENIX -- Jeff Fisher predicted as early as last spring that Aaron Donald would finish this season as the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Donald was announced as the top defensive rookie at Saturday's NFL Honors awards show.
Around The NFL handed Donald our highest grade among any defensive first-year player after the run-stuffing terror ranked above Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and every other defensive tackle, per Pro Football Focus. His nine sacks -- tied for second among all players at his position -- were more than fellow first-round picks Khalil Mack and C.J. Mosley combined.
Both Mosley and Mack were strong candidates to win the award, but Donald's play down the stretch was the difference. After seeing limited snaps early in the year, Donald was leaned on by Fisher as a regular starter over the final three quarters of the campaign. He burned bright on our radar after dropping a hammer on Adrian Peterson in early September. Few players offer this combination of size, speed and raw power.