Aaron Donald named Pro Football Focus' top defender

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- And now for something that has nothing to do with relocation.

It's been a long week and the Rams are headed to Los Angeles, with plans being made and dirt turning at the Inglewood site. But let's start this chilly Thursday in St. Louis with yet another accolade for a player who should finally start getting the credit he deserves by moving into the NFL's second-largest market: defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

On Wednesday, Pro Football Focus named Donald its defensive player of the year.

By way of explanation for giving the award to Donald, PFF began with the lofty comparisons to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The grading service noted that Donald is the only player to finish with a final grade in the same realm as Watt's.

Using PFF's tape study, Donald finished with 79 total pressures and 51 defensive stops and missed just two tackles. Those numbers go with more traditional, easier-to-measure numbers like his 11 sacks.

As PFF's highest-graded defensive player, Donald was also obviously the Rams' highest-graded player overall.


A roundup of Wednesday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... Chargers reporter Eric Williams and I discussed the state of the Rams and Chargers moving forward. ... I joined the Football Today podcast to discuss the Rams and relocation. ... Five things to know about Rams owner Stan Kroenke, the man who made the move back to Los Angeles happen. ... Simply having a team again doesn't guarantee long-term success for the NFL in Los Angeles, especially if the product remains subpar.


St. Louis was scorned by losing a second NFL team.

ESPN's Jim Trotter reported that the Chargers view Los Angeles as a viable possibility for 2016.

St. Louis mayor Francis G. Slay expressed his disappointment in how the NFL treated his city in relocation.

ESPN analytics expert Cynthia Frelund talked about the factors that went into the Rams' move.

Former Rams running back Lawrence Phillips was found dead in prison on Wednesday.

At 101sports.com, Bernie Miklasz writes that St. Louis might be down after losing the Rams but it's not out.