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PFF's top-graded Ram on defense: DT Aaron Donald

As part of our offseason lookback, will be taking a look at notable grades and performances for Rams players from scouting service Pro Football Focus (PFF).

Next up, the player who finished with the highest defensive grade on the team: Defense tackle Aaron Donald.


Donald's defense grade of 93.7 is the highest by a Ram for the sixth consecutive season, meaning he's held the title every year he's been with the team. A 90.0 or higher in any category is considered elite by PFF.

While tight end Tyler Higbee made franchise history this season, Donald made league history by becoming the first player to be named an AP First Team All-Pro five times in his first six seasons.

Donald's best performance this season in the eyes of PFF came in Week 11 against the Bears, when he posted a 93.3 defense grade and a 92.6 pass rush grade – both team highs. Statistically, he finished with four total tackles, including two for loss, plus two sacks, four QB hits and one pass breakup in Los Angeles' 17-7 win over Chicago, for his sixth NFC Player of the Week honor of his career.

On the season, the former Pittsburgh star also generated a team-high 80 pressures – all while facing two or more blockers on 319 of his rushes, most of any interior defender. His win rate of 18.2 percent was also highest among interior defenders this season.

PFF also says Donald generated a team-high 80 pressures – including 13 QB hits and 53 QB hurries. So while Donald's 12.5 sacks are down from his 20.5 last season, that statistic alone doesn't tell the whole story of how he impacted Los Angeles' defense this season.

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