In a move that should surprise no one, defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been named the Pro Football Writers of America Defensive Player of the Year.
Donald recorded a season that could only be described as dominant in 2018, leading the league with 20.5 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, and 41 quarterback hits. His 20.5 sacks set a new single-season record for an interior lineman and a new single-season franchise record. The defensive tackle also set a new league record with 183.5 sacks yards on his quarterback takedowns. Plus, only five players had more forced fumbles than Donald's four.
The defensive tackle was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, and is widely expected to receive that award again. But this is Donald's first PFWA Defensive Player of the Year award. He was also named to the PFWA All-NFL team on Tuesday.
Donald now has 59.5 sacks in just 78 games in his career. And this is likely the first of many honors the Pitt product will receive in this awards season.
According to the PFWA website, The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams daily.