Aaron Donald Scouting Report

In 2013, Eric Fisher pushed himself to the top of some teams’ draft boards with a stellar showing at the annual Senior Bowl. In 2014, that man was arguably…

Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh (6-1, 288)

Games Watched: North Carolina, Bowling Green, Miami, Florida State


Shines at times to be a constant disruption in the backfield. Able to move well and can track sideline to sideline with relative ease. His quickness in most aspects aids this. – 8/10

Rush Moves

Has lined up in different positions along the defensive line in differing fronts and looks. Ability to bull rush lineman shows up, disruptive. His somewhat smaller height allows him to have better leverage and he uses it well when bull rushing. A proper force at the position who drives opposing blockers backwards consistently. As for speed moves it is his get off from the snap at times is ludicrously fast. Along with his ability to win the leverage battle sees him a consistent menace in the backfield. Relentless. – 17/20


Run Defense

Rarely gives up a yard easily. His ability to maintain a rush brings other defenders into play and breaks a play down quite often. Just as able to set the edge well. His smaller size- for the position- does hold him back some on occasion as he can whiff on tackles if unable to disengage. -8/10



As noted above, at times it is phenomenal off the snap and in that regard one of the very best in this class. He can get past a blocker in a blink when left one on one. Even if he doesn’t get the tackle, it is more often the case that the plays break down with his ability to get off the ball, shutting any chance for a positive result for the offense. – 9/10


Somewhat under-rated aspect of Donald’s game. When double teamed- even triple teamed on occasions- he swallows up blockers to allow others to make a play on the ball. Leverage plays a role in this as he churns his legs constantly and forces blockers back on their heels. – 8/10

Block Shedding

Very effective when left one on one with a blocker as his get off puts him in prime position. Along with his ability to bull rush well and use his hands with great effect. When faced with double teams he relentless force wins as he doesn’t allow his blockers to be comfortable. Again his use of his hands and leverage come to the fore often. – 8/10

Read and React

Did on occasion over run plays on misreads that could be seen as him guessing, but that’s being a tad over-critical. His constant force in rushing the passer sees him be a threat in long-developing plays. Able to cover sideline to sideline well and get himself back near the ball if teams run/pass away from him. –7/10


In 2013 he average over 2 tackles for a loss per game and was a near ever-present in opponents backfields. When unable to get off his blocks he can miss on some tackles but has won against more physically imposing lineman and shone in all aspects in Mobile. – 8/10


Despite showing his equal effectiveness in a number of roles at Pitt he could yet see himself restricted to ‘fits’ in the NFL. His smaller than ideal frame for the position could hinder him. Outside of his size, little can be seen as a concern when watching him. – 8/10

Verdict – (81/100: 1ST Rounder)

Donald was the star of the show at the Senior Bowl week and did himself the most ‘good’ in terms of draftability than likely any other player. He is a first round prospect at what is a somewhat underwhelming position group in 2014. His motor and relentless nature shines consistently and a constant disruption in opposing backfields. Interior pass rushers are a rarity and Donald is rising towards the top of this years crop. Pro Comparison: Geno Atkins

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