The St. Louis Rams got very fortunate on Thursday, as Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald fell into their lap with the thirteenth pick. Once he overcame questions about his lack of size at the Senior Bowl, Donald was almost unanimously considered the top defensive tackle in the draft. He should give the Rams a little bit of extra pass rushing burst that they have not always gotten from Kendall Langford over the past couple years.
Donald is an interesting selection by head coach Jeff Fisher and defensive line coach Mike Waufle, who had not brought in any defensive tackles under 6-foot-5 prior to Donald, who measured in at the combine at 6-foot-1. If his selection doesn’t cause the release of Langford, who is scheduled to make $5 million this season, it is probably bad news for Jermelle Cudjo, a player similar in build to Donald who doesn’t have nearly as much pass rushing ability.
Though the Seattle Seahawks had plenty of production from their pass rushers last year, it is now really difficult to try to argue that a team other than the Rams has the best defensive line in the NFC West. In fact, with projected starters Donald, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn, and Chris Long all having been top 15 picks in the first round, the Rams may have the best four front of any team in the entire league.