Analyst Shares Telling Prediction Involving Aaron Donald for Week 12

Aaron Donald

Getty Aaron Donald pregame before the November 13, 2022 home contest versus Arizona.

Despite the 3-7 record, plus the Los Angeles Rams dealing with defensive lapses during their losing skid, Aaron Donald still remains a leader in the clubhouse in sacks — currently tied with the lead at five alongside Leonard Floyd.

Throughout his career, “A.D” has been referred to as the league’s best defender and the NFL’s best defensive tackle in the game today. However, one renowned NFL analyst predicted on Friday, November 25 that someone is set to take Donald’s throne in Week 12.

Donald ‘Will Relinquish’ Title, Analyst Says

Bucky Brooks from the NFL Network is a believer that there will be a new league’s best defensive tackle after Sunday, November 27.

“This Sunday, when the Kansas City Chiefs (8-2) host the Los Angeles Rams (3-7), the football world will watch Chris Jones take the crown from Aaron Donald as the best defensive tackle in the game today,” Brooks boldly predicted in his column. “After sitting in the throne for years, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year will relinquish his title to an ascendant Pro Bowler who has taken his game to another level in 2022.”

Brooks, known for his sharp witted and blunt takes, is starting to believe that Donald, 31, has a new challenger for his crown. The former NFL defensive back and regional scout mentioned that Jones already has Donald beat in one key stat this season.

“Jones leads all defensive tackles with nine sacks, including seven in the past five games (with at least half a sack in each contest),” Brooks wrote.

Jones even added how one national analytical site that has long placed Donald at No. 1 has given the towering Chiefs defender more love as of late.

“The 6-foot-6, 310-pounder has also notched 10 tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hits with a pair of forced fumbles. As PFF [Pro Football Focus]’s highest-graded defensive tackle — and No. 2 defensive player overall, behind only Myles Garrett — Jones has earned rave reviews for his pass-rushing prowess and run-stopping skills. No. 95 has fully arrived as a bona fide game wrecker at age 28,” Brooks said.

Does Brooks Believe Donald has Fallen Off?

It’s quite telling that anyone would believe someone not named Donald will hold the title of best interior defender.

Does this mean that Brooks has written off the Super Bowl 56 winner and perennial Pro Bowler Donald?

“While Donald remains elite — as evidenced by his 32 quarterback pressures and 13 run stuffs (both top-five marks among DTs by Next Gen Stats’ count) — the 31-year-old has started to show signs of slippage as the No. 1 player at the position,” Brooks said. “Donald’s quarterback pressure percentage (9.9%, per Next Gen Stats) is his lowest in the NGS era, which began in 2016. This is part of a downward trend in which No. 99’s pressure rate has steadily dropped since the 2018 campaign, when he won Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 20.5 sacks. Donald, who currently has five sacks, is on a pace that would leave him short of double-digit sacks for the first time since 2016.”

While Brooks has brought up stats that point to Donald’s slippage, it hasn’t helped Donald that he’s played on an injury ravaged team that’s also witnessed defenders on the line needing to nurse ailments — from Greg Gaines (elbow) to recently A’Shawn Robinson (meniscus), the latter now out for the year. Donald and the Rams, though, have also been missing an impact edge rusher opposite of both Donald and Floyd. Terrell Lewis is the only active edge rusher with a sack on the Rams and the team waived Justin Hollins on Tuesday, November 22.

“In addition, Jones has shown more diversity to his play this season, overwhelming blockers with a mix of power and finesse that makes him impossible to contain at the line of scrimmage,” Brooks wrote.

Brooks understands Donald losing the crown won’t be easy. Yet, a breakthrough day from the three-time Pro Bowl can alter things among DLs.

“Now, admittedly, it is hard to take the crown from Donald if the numbers remain close. After all, he’s widely considered to be among the greatest defensive players ever. But the Chiefs’ resurgence as a top title contender is extra fuel for Jones’ fire. And a standout performance on Sunday could mark a changing of the guard at the position,” Brooks said.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x