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Old 03-31-2014, 06:03 PM   #1
devin7558
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Default 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.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...

I wouldn't be upset. Especially if the top corners are off the board, and if the Steelers weren't impressed with Nix. Mosley might still be there at 15 though as well as Barr now I'm reading.

listed at 6-0 and 285 with a really good 40 and bench press. I will say this though, it seems he has short arms which will limit him in his effectiveness in our 3-4 more than anything that I can see about him. I'd be very cautious about taking him with a 1st round at #15.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...

His tape is just so damn good!

Relatively short arms could be a problem at the next level, especially if he draws double teams. You need length to keep stronger fastee NFL lineman off your chest. I still think he is to quick for most and his first step and violent hands should help. He is not a direct scheme fit but I think they could adapt his skills to the 3-4 gradually. He'd be a stud in the nickel sets we ran 60% of the time last season. After his rookie season I think he will be capable of racking up 7-10 sacks a year no matter what team or scheme he is in. Tackles would sweat lining up to him with Worilds coming down the pipe second.

I'd prefer him over Mosley since we have a number of candidates who could develop at ILB (Williams, spence, moats). I think he'd be on the field more than Nix. If he's there and Barr/Dennard/Gilbert and Evans were off the board I would look to either trade back or take him. I wouldn't be disappointed if Nix was the pick. We need a dominate rush again & it all starts up front.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...

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His tape is just so damn good!

Relatively short arms could be a problem at the next level, especially if he draws double teams. You need length to keep stronger fastee NFL lineman off your chest. I still think he is to quick for most and his first step and violent hands should help. He is not a direct scheme fit but I think they could adapt his skills to the 3-4 gradually. He'd be a stud in the nickel sets we ran 60% of the time last season. After his rookie season I think he will be capable of racking up 7-10 sacks a year no matter what team or scheme he is in. Tackles would sweat lining up to him with Worilds coming down the pipe second.

I'd prefer him over Mosley since we have a number of candidates who could develop at ILB (Williams, spence, moats). I think he'd be on the field more than Nix. If he's there and Barr/Dennard/Gilbert and Evans were off the board I would look to either trade back or take him. I wouldn't be disappointed if Nix was the pick. We need a dominate rush again & it all starts up front.
You make some very good points, and too be honest I'm not sold that we're going CB or WR in the 1st.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...

The next Geno Atkins...Nuff said.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...

^^^ it think he actually has a little more violence in his game when it cones to using his hands. He's just so well developed at this point. It's hard to pick out any one area where he can really improve. He's probably maxed out his frame so adding muscle would be tough, he's already impressively strong, lethal first step...reads calls and audibles from the line and QB, and disrupts on nearly every play. He was just flat out dominant whether it was Florida State, Notre Dame or Navy he was playing. Consistent as can be.

I think he doesn't have a much higher ceiling for room to improve but he's as solid as they come for a DL. He would be the type to benefit from playing with another super talent on the line. He's always been the focus of other teams game plans.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...

As you alluded to, he'd be very effective in a couple of different looks, but most notably in our Eagle and sub-packages. He does come with question marks though as he wouldn't be able to contribute as a down-to-down player and may only be used as a rotational player, at least early on for this team.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...

He can just flat out play.

I think he'd fit in almost any defense. If we drafted him and lebeau expects him to anchor and control 2 gaps at once then he would fail. If they'd tailor that DE end spot to his talents he could be a monster.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: I want to talk about Aaron Donald one more time...

Quote:
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He can just flat out play.

I think he'd fit in almost any defense. If we drafted him and lebeau expects him to anchor and control 2 gaps at once then he would fail. If they'd tailor that DE end spot to his talents he could be a monster.
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