I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...
Ive had the last two days off. As a result I've been watching a ton of film on so many players. One of which is Aaron Donald. I must admit I was the first person to push him down my board as a classic "doesn't" fit the 3-4 defense type guy.
I was wrong actually.
There is a ton of game film on him playing in the nickel/dime sets both inside and on the outside. He consistently sets the edge hard, anchors or even just flat out wins with leverage (sort of like James Harrison his lack of height works positively for him). He abuses slower footed lineman whether they are guards, tackles or centers. He can't control two gaps at once like a classic 5 technique but he is so damn disruptive that he creates tons of space that Pitt Panther LB's cleaned up, many times for loss.
He is the most explosive DL in this draft not named Clowney and even then I think he's more ferocious. He rips, swims, bull rushs, speed rushes and gets through tight spaces in a flash. His instincts pre snap are one of the things that jumped out at me. Pitt gave him the freedom to move or shade the o-line from his 3 tech spot to zero technique and even all the way to 4 at times pre snap. He almost always chose the best spot and exploited the line. He's smart.
To sum this up, he is not the typical DE we would use but he would have so much value in a nickel role as a rookie rushing the interior and actually I think in our base 3-4 on the right side against slower lumbering RG's and RT's. He would be a nightmare....especially with Worilds and Polamalu playing in a line directly behind him. Lebeau could get creative with the zone blitz because Donald can actually drop in a short zone effectively.
With Dennard, Evans, Gilbert and other favorites likely off the board at 15 I'd like to see them get creative and draft him. He would be the BPA at a spot that we kind of need. DL has been hit the hardest in FA. NT is set for now with McClendon and Thomas. Our pass rush needs to improve. Donald would do that from day one.
Just a thought.