Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald has ruined plenty of days for quarterbacks and interior offensive linemen since he entered the league as the 13th overall pick in 2014.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year has 85.5 sacks, 131 tackles for loss, and 201 quarterback hits in 110 games. He’s twice led the league in tackles for loss and topped the league with 20.5 sacks in 2018, helping propel the Rams to Super Bowl LIII.
Donald is the kind of defensive tackle who usually lines up between the offense’s guard and tackle, known as the three-technique. But Donald also moves around the defensive line, looking for the best matchup to get after the QB.
So Raiders quarterback Derek Carr — who was also a part of the 2014 draft class — knew to look out for No. 99 pre-snap during the Rams and Raiders’ first joint practice of the week on Wednesday. And after that session, Carr gave Donald some high praise.
“Obviously, AD, he can ruin practice if he wants. And there were a couple times he got back there and I had to move out of the pocket, hit the plays — scramble plays,” Carr said in his press conference. “But he’s a guy that, he’s going to win.
“He’s probably the best three-technique to ever play this game. And that’s saying a lot, but I think he’s earned that kind of respect and is starting to get in that conversation as we get older in our eighth year. And he deserves to be in that conversation, and he’s a good player.”
As one of just three players to win three DPOY awards, Donald has already put himself in a position to be considered an all-time great. And as he enters his eighth season, there’s no sign that the 30-year-old DT is slowing down.