There's little to no argument as to whether or not Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is one of the best defensive players in the game. But that was made official on Saturday, as Donald was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.
The Pittsburgh product received his award at NFL Honors on the eve of Super Bowl LII.
Donald led all interior rushers with 11.0 sacks and recorded an NFC-leading five forced fumbles, 27 quarterback hits, and 15 tackles for loss through just 14 games. But perhaps most impressive of all were his 91 quarterback pressures on the year — 12 more than any other edge rusher and 21 more than any other interior defensive lineman.
Donald finished the regular season with the second-highest grade of any player at any position in the NFL from Pro Football Focus, with a 98.4 mark.
Throughout his four seasons with the franchise, Donald has been a dominant defensive force — amassing four Pro Bowl nods, three All-Pro designations, and an AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2014.
Donald becomes the first player in franchise history to take home the AP's Defensive Player of the Year title.