Diamond in the Rough: DT Aaron Donald Pittsburgh

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Hello Raider Nation,

The year is almost over, and I'm sad to say that the Raiders may not make the playoffs. which means that it starting to become that time of year where we begin looking at the upcoming prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft. I have already done a few prospects this year, and will continue to do them all the way up till the draft. The last prospect I introduced was DE from Arkansas, Chris Smith. (HERE IS THE LINK)

So today, I was looking through my list of prospects and reviewed each one, to see who would be a great article to start back up this series. it came down to one man who caught my attention, and never let go. Of course I am talking about Aaron Donald from Pitt.

Aaron Donald

Defensive tackle

Height: 6'0

Weight: 285

Conference: ACC

40 time: 4.80

Games played: 50

Tackles: 163

Tackles for loss: 64

sacks: 28.5

projected round: 2

position rank: 3

Don't let his size fool you, when you put Aaron Donald on tape, he will always be the most disruptive player on the field. I have never see more chaos created by one person than anyone else this year in college football. The man is a straight up beast, and even though he may not have the desired measurable, he has found ways to beat single and double teams on a regular basis. Aaron Donald is currently the leader in the FBS for sacks and Tackles for loss. he has won many honors and came into college as a five star recruit. Starting with his freshman year, he played right away, and started all 13 games for the Panthers. he had 11 Tackles on the year with 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 passes deflected. little did people know, that this was the beginning of a monster.

in his Sophomore year, something changed inside him, he wasn't the weak freshman that everyone thought he was, he became something else. Donald quadrupled his numbers from his freshman year. He had totaled 47 tackles, 16 Tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 11 hurries and a forced fumble. he was ranked seventh in sacks per game, and played all defensive snaps for the Panthers. Donald was named All-Big East (second team) selection by league coaches.

In his Junior year, he added to his resume even further, even though he had only 5.5 sacks his junior year, he was still just as disruptive in the backfield. he increased his tackle for loss numbers to 18.5, 11 QB Hurries, while having 64 tackles on the year, with a forced fumble and 2 passes deflected. Donald was named First-team All-Big East and was also named defensive player of the week for his performance against South Florida, Connecticut, and Rutgers.

Now in his senior year, he has put together his best season of his college career. with a whopping 26.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, with 41 tackles, 2 passes broken up, 16 QB hurries, 4 forced fumbles, and a blocked kick. Donald leads the nation in tackles for loss (2.4 per game) while ranking 10th in sacks (0.91 per game) and 11th in forced fumbles (0.36 per game) and is the only defensive tackle ranked among the top 10 in sacks this season.

Donald is a One-man wrecking crew, the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, otherwise Aaron Donald will smack you senseless. when I watch the tape, I see a DT who gets off the line extremely fast, has an amazing swim move, with great technique. he has played both the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes and surprisingly has the strength to beat double teams. he is faster than your average DT, with an extremely high motor. never seems to get tired, and makes everyone around him better. with his speed, he can actually be converted to DE, speaking of which, he has lined up in that position many times this year, and has had equal success, so he is a guy who can play both the interior and exterior line

but dont take my word for or it, look at it yourself, when you watch it, your gunna kick yourself in the head for not hearing about this guy sooner. Please comment, it gives me feedback of my articles and lets me know you are enjoying them

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