Having concluded the 2020 NFL campaign as the league's No. 1 defense, the Los Angeles Rams are blessed by an embarrassment of riches that is having two of the premier players at their respective positions in cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Confident and skilled as Ramsey is, however, he was quick to tell NFL Network's Jim Trotter and Steve Wyche on the latest Huddle & Flow podcast that Donald is most certainly the driving force and leader on the Rams defense -- and the best player in the NFL.
"A.D. for sure the leader, though," Ramsey said. "You know, sometimes people look at me that I could be more vocal and had a juice, but, A.D. leads me. So even if you feel like, 'Oh, that Jalen he got them turned up or this or that or whoever it may be,' nah, it's A.D. It's A.D. for sure, just because he inspires us to do that, like we gotta lift our game to another level playing with A.D. He's like a big brother and I can't let A.D. down. I gotta step this up. That's how I feel, personally."
Ramsey was a Pro Bowler for a fourth time and an All-Pro for a second time in 2020 with the Rams, while Donald garnered his third AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. In the aftermath of Donald winning his third DPOY, there were some who disagreed with the Rams defensive tackle's triumph as many thought the honor should've been reserved for Steelers standout T.J. Watt.
For Ramsey, that was a ridiculous notion.
"It's insane that people really, like I know after he won defensive player of the year again, and people, like certain people were in a uproar about him winning, I'm like, 'Bro, are y'all serious?'" Ramsey said. "He is doing these numbers from D-tackle and he sometimes moves around. His impact on the game is crazy. You look at most valuable player and what it actually means is how valuable is this guy to this team. Take this guy off of this team and then where does their value as a team go?
"And you put A.D. on any NFL team and I guarantee that D-line is top-five D-line automatically, probably top-three D-line automatically."
The argument was that Watt had the superior statistics, but in the eyes of Ramsey and many others -- including the majority of the voters -- Donald's impact on a game and worth on his team looms larger than any other defensive player. Ramsey believes Donald's impact and skills put him above any other player in the NFL, defense or offense.
"I've never seen anyone like him," Ramsey said. "In my opinion, he's the best player in NFL. I think A.D. should start being in conversations for MVP. "
At least one conversation about Donald's MVP candidacy has already been had.