EARTH CITY, Mo. -- On the night before the Super Bowl, the NFL will hold its annual awards show, naming the league's MVP, rookie of the year, coach of the year and more.
Included in that ceremony is the NFL's defensive player of the year. It's an award for which Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald figures to be in the mix but is probably unlikely to win. But there's at least one entity that views Donald as not only the league's best defensive player but its best player, period.
On Wednesday, Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson unveiled his service's rankings of the top 10 players in the NFL in 2015. At the top of the list? You guessed it: Donald.
According to PFF's grading scale, Donald maxed out with the highest possible grade of 99.9, a high a mark as Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt's best season. In other words, since PFF began grading players, Donald had one of the best single-season performances in their eyes.
Donald's production has slowly but surely started earning him some credit in the eyes of league observers. He's only two seasons into what figures to be a promising career, but there's no doubt that even if you don't agree he should be No. 1 overall, he's quickly ascending the list of the best players in the NFL.
A roundup of Wednesday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com: We began the day with a look at the No. 6 play that shaped the Rams' season. ... The Ram-blings began with a closer look at the choice for the best team in Rams history. ... We then turned to the No. 5 play that shaped the Rams' season. ... We closed the day with where the three Pro Bowl Rams landed for Sunday's game.
Nos. 11-30 in ESPN's top 50 Super Bowl players of all time were revealed.
At STLtoday.com, Dick Vermeil says he wished he'd been able to do more for Lawrence Phillips.
At 101sports.com, Randy Karraker and Bernie Miklasz discussed what's next now that the Rams are gone.
Yahoo.com takes a closer look at Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his Los Angeles development.
One Rams fan in St. Louis laments the loss of the team from the perspective of a mother.