Aaron Donald turned 32 years old less than a month ago, making him the second-oldest player on the Los Angeles Rams (only behind Matthew Stafford). As Donald enters his 10th season in the NFL, The 33rd Team’s Jeff Diamond ranked the All-Pro interior defender as the fourth-best player in the league over 30 years old.
Here is Diamond’s explanation for placing Donald fourth on his list of players that are older than 30:
Aaron Donald probably would lead this list if he weren’t coming off a down season by his high standards, in which he missed six games with an ankle injury. His sack total fell to five after producing double-digit sacks in the previous five seasons (including 20.5 in 2018). With his quickness and strength, Donald is a pass-rushing force and a terrific run defender.
A first-round pick of the Rams in 2013, he is one of the best defensive linemen in NFL history. He’s a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, a seven-time First-Team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. He had two sacks, three QB hits and a game-sealing pressure on Joe Burrow in the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI victory.
For the first time in his career, Donald missed games due to injury in 2022, limiting him to a career-low 11 games. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year tallied career-worst marks in quarterback hits (11), tackles for loss (10), and sacks (5) a season ago.
Despite Donald’s numbers from last season, he is still capable of wrecking a game single-handedly in the trenches. Assuming that Donald can remain healthy in 2023, we should expect another All-Pro season from one of the best defensive players in NFL history.