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.

26 Responses to “Would Aaron Donald Fit?”

  1. Paul Says:

    Would love this pick. It might shock people, but we need guys who can rusht the passer. Doesn’t matter if that’s from DE, DT, or SAM.

  2. Teddy Says:

    I’m happy to see this guy starting to get some run. He’s been my favorite pick for the Bucs for weeks now, although until recently, I thought the #7 pick was too high for him. If the team could drop down 3-4 spots, get this guy and pick up a #3 in the process, it would be a serious coup for the Lovie/Licht regime.

  3. Couch Fan Says:

    I really like Donald and would not be disappointed or shocked to hear his name called when we are on the clock.

  4. SAMCRO Says:

    If the Bucs trade back in the first round, I could see that. Otherwise I think it would be a reach to draft him inside the top 10.

  5. Andrew 1 Says:

    I know next to nothing about this guy, but that 40 time is amazing. Lovie very well could decide that he would rather have this guy over Spence, especially if we ditch the tilted nose. Draft a QB if he drops, if not I could see us going in a number of different directions.

  6. BucsQcCity Says:

    He’s a special athlete. Clowney is a specimen with questionable motivation but Donald and Mack are high motor self determined athlete. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them draft him and make him play some snaps next to GMC on passing downs.

  7. Jordan Says:

    I have a suspicion that defensive players will be at a premium in FA and the draft. It is becoming more likely that maybe just 1 or 2 QBs are taken in the top 10.

  8. Supercereal Says:

    What was with the low blow to Gerald McCoy in Florios mock write up? I can’t stand that smug little fella.

  9. bigpoppabuc Says:

    If we can’t land franchise DEs right away we might as well help what we’ve got. Nothing but one on one matchups for guys like AC and Gholston could help them get more sacks. Sapp/McFarland 2.0!!!

  10. Jeff Matherly Says:

    Something tells me this guy is gonna be special. Hes got a wide frame, and watching his film reminds me alot of Sapp. I would love it if the Bucs drafted this guy at 7!

  11. DontBucNH8 Says:

    Wouldn’t mind it if he’s best player available, but I’d like picking up a Jason Hatcher from Dallas before using our 1st rd pick on him.

  12. Macabee Says:

    Jason Hatcher would be a good addition, but he will be 32 in July. There is something the Bucs like about Aaron Donald too! They have interviewed him twice – at the Senior Bowl and at the Combine. They also have an on-site visit scheduled. That sounds like considerable interest to me.

    But Hatcher played like a beast last year under Marinelli in the 4-3. It would be very difficult to account for both McCoy and the 6-6 Hatcher side by side on third down. I’d be happy with either one.

  13. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Because college football players who have a great combine automatically become great players in the NFL. I really like Donald, but if it werent for the combine would he really be “shooting up draft boards”? He is a small guy with potential but definitely not a can’t miss prospect.

  14. bucsfan85 Says:

    umm no

  15. Couch Fan Says:


    He has Potential and production and not a 1 year wonder. He’s as safe a pick as anybody in this draft. The combine did nothing but solidify what the scouts already knew, that this kid is gonna be really good.

  16. HFXBUC Says:

    THAT MAKES NO SENSE! That would be like drafting Booger MacFarlane to play next to Warren Sapp… Can’t win a Superbowl that way!


  17. Couch Fan Says:

    He’s also durable. Doesn’t look like he’s missed a game in 4 years

  18. Kevin Says:


    It’s not just his combine numbers that are getting him noticed. All he did at Pitt was ball out no matter what they asked him to be, and he also dominated his senior bowl competition. That this guy is just getting noticed speaks to how oblivious some fans are of college leagues not named the SEC (thanks ESPN).

  19. BucsfaninChina Says:

    @Kevin please bestow upon me your vast knowledge of all under the radar players not in the SEC. I thought all other conferences were for girls flag football. Ass.

    Listen, at spot #7 I would be SHOCKED if the Bucs snagged him. Based on his stuff on Youtube I just don’t see the level of player that Sammy Watkins, Khalil Mack, or Greg Robinson are at. Trade down for him? Okay, but being quick and having a motor didnt give him half the exposure he got until he showed it off at the combine. Please show me where I should be falling out of my chair over Donald.

  20. Couch Fan Says:

    Before the combine he was still thought to be a mid 1st round pick. So not sure why you never heard of him. Nobody said you should be falling out of your chair. Your entitled to your opinion… most who have actually watched him disagree.

  21. BKNYfootballhead Says:


    You are really looking like a tool right now. Donald only won the following:

    Outland Trophy winner, Lombardi Award, Nagurski Award, and Bednarik Award

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    Mayock was pumping him up this morning on the network. Looks impressive. I don’t know at #7 but, how could it hurt to have two studs in the middle? Someone posted, and I agree, that it could elevate the play outside at DE.

  23. PTWALK Says:

    If you looked at his film and wasnt impressed all I can say is wow. This guy can flat out get after it. The best on film this year from what I’ve seen. I’d take him at 7 all day long.

  24. BucThis Says:

    Pump him up too much and he’ll be another one of those “He won’t be there at pick 7” players!

  25. jvato24 Says:

    Sapp called him a top 10

  26. Brandon Says:

    Wouldn’t mind Donald at all…but would prefer a trade down of 5-10 spots. I like Donald a lot but him as a top 10 pick is a bit of a reach. We can get more picks by moving down and there’s no reason he wouldn’t be there at 12-15.