That is great news for Donald, who described himself last year as a “lazy, chunky kid” before finding his path through football.
Aaron Donald is the Rams’ star defensive lineman
Near the end of their time in St. Louis, the Rams invested the 2014 NFL draft’s 13th overall selection on Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Calling that the right decision is an understatement. Through his first seven seasons, Donald racked up 85.5 sacks and forced 19 fumbles.
Donald earned first-team All-Pro honors in each of the last six years, and has reached the Pro Bowl in all seven seasons. The stout lineman won Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018, and his 20.5 sacks led the NFL in the latter season.
The Rams have reached the playoffs three times since moving back to Los Angeles in 2016.
Donald considered himself a ‘lazy, chunky kid’
Aaron Donald is brutally honest about the journey he has taken to becoming one of his generation’s greatest players.
In a 2020 interview with CNN, Donald recalled being a “lazy, chunky kid.” His father, Archie, introduced him to early morning workouts as a teenager.
Donald explained how his father’s dedication to improving his son’s life set him on the right path.
“It just started from working, wanting to be the best, to seeing it come full circle, to not just being in the NFL but being a top guy in this league and still have room for improvement. It’s definitely emotional! You get choked up, you get warm, your eyes start ‘watering,’ but you put the body of work in and it always pays off.
Those 4:30 a.m. workouts paid off, and Donald signed with the University of Pittsburgh out of high school in 2010.
Aaron Donald has become an NFL legend
Aaron Donald turns 30 in May, and he is still under contract through the 2024 season.
If Donald keeps at his current pace, he could enter the Hall of Fame on his first try. Donald ended the 2020 season with 85.5 sacks, which is 61st in NFL history.
Only 35 players have topped 100 sacks since the NFL began counting them as an official statistic in 1982. Donald’s sustained dominance already gives him a high chance to enter the Hall, but climbing the sack list will only boost his likelihood.
For now, Donald and the Rams have more significant issues on their plate. The Rams will face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in the NFC divisional round.
Los Angeles upset Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in the NFC wild-card round.