Aaron Donald continues to show why he’s the MVP of the Los Angeles Rams after finishing second in the Pro Football Focus Top 101 Players from the 2016 NFL season.
In just three years, Aaron Donald has quickly emerged as one of the top defensive players in the league for the Los Angeles Rams, and rightfully so when looking at the impressive numbers displayed since joining the league in 2014. Unfortunately for Donald and company, the Rams are coming off a disappointing 2016 season in which the team finished with a 4-12 record.
What’s even more frustrating with that record is Los Angeles found a way to jump out to a 3-1 start, meaning they would go on to lose 11 of their final 12 games while Jeff Fisher would be eventually fired as head coach before the regular season officially came to an end. As difficult as all of this is to process, at least this didn’t prevent Donald from continuing to make a name from himself on defense, and still find a way to earn recognition for what he was able to accomplish.
Pro Football Focus released their list of the Top 101 Players from the 2016 NFL season this week, and believe it or not, Donald happened to land in the No. 2 spot. The only player to finish ahead of Donald was Tom Brady, and after seeing how the future Hall of Famer recently rallied the New England Patriots to a Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons, there’s no debate he deserves to be in the top spot.
As for Donald, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see Pro Football Focus discuss how impressive the defensive superstar was for recording eight sacks during the 2016 season, despite all of the extra pressure he would constantly receive from opponents. Not to mention Donald finished third in the league when it came to quarterback pressures (82), and was even named Defensive Player of the Year by the site a few weeks ago.
Finishing this high on the list continues to show how lucky the Rams are to having the former Pittsburgh star leading the way on defense. And with Wade Phillips coming on board as the new defensive coordinator to Sean McVay‘s staff, one can only imagine the potential with Donald heading into the 2017 season.
If all goes well for Los Angeles during their first year under McVay, there’s a good chance Donald will see his name high on this list at this time next year, but hopefully with a better finish for the Rams instead of only recording four wins.