Aaron Donald definitely has definitely built a nice resume for himself in nearly two NFL seasons. He was voted the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 and with three games remaining in the 2015 season has already recorded two more sacks than he did a season ago.
The exploits of the Rams’ star have not gone unnoticed by ESPN’s Ron Jaworski.
Ron Jaworski on Aaron Donald on PTI: "I believe he is the best defensive player in the National Football League, based on performance."
— Mike O'Hara (@MikeOHaraNFL) December 17, 2015
Well, Jaws has no problem taking a stand. Remember, this is the same man that once said that Colin Kaepernick could be one of the best quarterbacks in league history, back before he had even a full season’s worth of starts under his belt.
Jaworski can be let off the hook for that, but as good as Donald is, saying he’s the best defensive player in the NFL is jumping the gun a little bit. Does he impact the game as much as Geno Atkins? Does he impact the game as much as J.J. Watt? Remember, it was only one week ago when Bill Belichick compared Watt to Lawrence Taylor, who’s only the greatest defensive player in NFL history.
Those are only pass-rushers. When we include other defenders — Richard Sherman, Josh Norman, Patrick Peterson, Luke Kuechly — it becomes even more difficult put Donald at the top of the list.
Donald is a tremendous player and one day might be the best defender in the game. But putting him ahead of all of those guys right now is just a touch presumptuous.