Monson: Donald Is NFL's Best Player – And It Isn't Close
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Aaron Donald has won back-to-back NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and he’s a safe bet to make it three in a row.
“He is the best player in the NFL, period, and I don’t think it’s particularly close to the next best guy,” Pro Football Focus analyst Sam Monson said on The DA Show. “When you slice all of our numbers, if you look at total pressure, pressure rate, win rate as a pass rusher, average depth of tackle – almost anything you look at – Aaron Donald is off on his own and an outlier from the rest of the NFL, in the same way J.J. Watt was when Watt was at his peak before he got struck with all those injuries. It’s incredible Donald is that far ahead of anybody else.”
Donald was NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 and has been a first-team All-Pro every year since. He led the NFL with 20.5 sacks last season to go with four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
“Aaron Donald is incredible,” Monson said. “We’ve only see two players notch over 100 total pressures since PFF has been grading (2006), and Donald just became the second one this (past) season. Fletcher Cox had a phenomenal year as an interior pass rusher. He was head and shoulders above any other interior player on the D-Line, and almost nobody noticed because Donald was just that much better than Fletcher Cox.
“So I think you can list a bunch of other candidates that could conceivably have Defensive Player of the Year kind of seasons,” Monson continued. “But the idea that any of them is more likely to do it than Aaron Donald is just absurd.”