2014 Arch Awards: Rams DT Aaron Donald is St. Louis’s Rising Star


Earlier this month, we asked our Arch Authority readers to tell us who the best rookie was in St. Louis sports during 2014: St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, or St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen. After two weeks of voting, our voters have determined that Donald was the most deserving recipient.

It would be very difficult to argue that choice, as Donald has made a great case for being the overall MVP of St. Louis sports this year, let alone the best rookie. The 6-foot-1, 285-pounder was selected with the Rams’ second first-round pick this year at pick 13 overall. He took a while to pass up veteran defensive tackle Kendall Langford on the depth chart, but since he became a starter in Week 5, Donald has made a serious argument as the best 4-3 defensive tackle in the NFL.

Donald has eight sacks this year, which puts him behind only the Buffalo Bills’ Marcell Dareus (10) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Gerald McCoy (8.5) for the most sacks in the league among 4-3 defensive tackles. This should give him a real chance at earning a Pro Bowl berth in his rookie season, especially considering an outdated balloting format that accounts for 3-4 interior linemen like J.J. Watt as “defensive ends”.

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On another note, Donald now has the most sacks by a Rams defensive tackle since 1999, when D’Marco Farr had 8.5. With two games left to go, Donald’s total currently ranks third on the franchise all-time list since the team moved to St. Louis in 1995, as Farr also had 11.5 sacks during the Rams’ inaugural season in St. Louis.

Congratulations to Aaron Donald on winning the 2014 Rising Star Arch Award! Check back Monday to see who wins our Best Under-the-Radar Performance Award. Until then, click the link below to vote for the best St. Louis sports team of 2014.

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