Would Aaron Donald Fit?March 10th, 2014
Draft junkies know University of Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s stock has been rising significantly. Even reasoned, brilliant NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock bumped up Donald from No. 3 to No. 1 on his positional rankings last week.
The guy can rush the passer, and that’s what Lovie Smith wants.
Would Donald fit with the Bucs at the No. 7 overall pick? Mike Florio, the creator and curator of ProFootballTalk.com this so. He’s got the Bucs taking Donald in his mock draft out today.
Donald was recruited to Pitt by former Panthers head coach Dave Wannstedt, the Bucs’ special teams coach last season.
Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio recently and to the Post-Gazette, Wannstedt raved about Donald’s extraordinary work ethic and attitude. It was no surprise to Wannstedt that Donald shocked the NFL Scouting Combine in various drills and motored his 6-1, 285-pound frame to a 4.65, 40-yard dash time. Interestingly, Wannstedt said a guy at Donald’s relatively small size should not be discounted especially after Akeem Spence just had a good rookie season.
NFL.com recently noted Donald’s versatility on the D-line: “He had 11 sacks playing end in a 3-4 set as a sophomore in 2011 and 11 playing tackle in a 4-3 alignment as a senior in 2013. He also had a nation’s-leading 26.5 tackles for loss in ’13, an incredible amount for an interior lineman.”
Joe, of course, wants to see the Bucs draft Johnny Football or Teddy Bridgewater. That’s a no-brainer. However, the big need after that is a pass rusher. If Lovie Smith sees Donald as a nasty, quick inside rusher who could do amazing things alongside Gerald McCoy, then Joe surely wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bucs call his name in May.