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Rams aren’t looking for next Aaron Donald: ‘There isn’t another one on the planet’

Aaron Donald came into the NFL in 2014 as a 6-foot-1 and 285-pound defensive tackle. He was widely viewed as undersized for the position, but with the strength of a 330-pound nose tackle and the quickness of a running back, that rare combination made him a superstar with the Rams for 10 years.

That combination is also what makes him unlike any other player in the league. Sure, there are some who have been compared to Donald, but it’s highly unlikely anyone will ever match his production (111 sacks) and required attention (double- and triple-teams) as a defensive tackle.

It’s exactly why the Rams aren’t going into the draft this year looking for the next Aaron Donald. There isn’t one. General manager Les Snead knows that, telling Peter Schrager on his podcast that the Rams don’t need to find someone to replace AD. They just need to focus on finding good defensive players.

“I think the mantra in our building now, I think I said it a little bit to match Aaron’s very concise way of going about his business and it really is true: There will never be another Aaron Donald, so the journey is not, ‘OK, we’ve got to go find our next Aaron Donald.’ That is not happening, there isn’t another one on the planet, so guess what? Let’s go find good defensive players and begin the next chapter. But we’re not looking for the next Aaron Donald. He doesn’t exist,” Snead said.

There are some quality defensive tackles in this year’s class, including Byron Murphy II and Johnny Newton, both of whom could be targets for Los Angeles in Round 1. Ruke Orhorhoro and Braden Fiske are also options on Day 2.

No matter who the Rams draft, expecting them to fill the gigantic shoes of Donald is unfair. Sure, they can help fill the void left by No. 99, but no one will be a one-for-one replacement along the Rams’ defensive line.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire