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Does Anyone On This Webzone Believe That Aaron Donald Is The Best Defensive Player Ever!?!

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Probably in the same league as Gary Big Hands Johnson, it's just that everything these days is hyped.
Absolutely not. Any football historian worth their weight in salt would tell you that the top 3—in no particular order—are:

LT
White
Butkus

Donald is a great player and will make the HOF, but those guys are in a class of their own.
Best defensive player ever? I'd lean no, but I could see an argument being made for it.

But Aaron Donald is hands down the greatest 3-technique ever. Averaging a 26% win rate while being double-teamed on 70% of his rushes is f**king insane. We'll probably never see that again.
I think 49ers fan are going to be biased here... for one, he's a Ram... and secondly, he plays like s**t against us. Most fans only ever watch the 49ers so from the sample sizes we get I can see how we would laugh at the notion. Off the top of my head, I don't think he is, but there can be an argument made.
Not even top 10 in the league. He is an amazing 3-technique for sure, one of the best ever. But all time or even right now, there are several players I would take over him in a heartbeat.
[ Edited by DASeiler49 on Feb 19, 2022 at 2:28 PM ]
The guy has seven straight 1st team All Pro selections, which is an amazing achievement. It's hard to really compare eras, but I definitely think he's the best defender today. Donald isn't a great run stuffer, but in today's game, that's almost an afterthought. I've seen a lot of guys in their prime - Mean Joe Greene, Randy White, Lawrence Taylor, Ronnie Lott, Reggie White, Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Ed Reed.....I still say LT was the best defensive player I've ever seen. His impact was ridiculous - league altering type of impact.
  • jcs
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Originally posted by Young2Rice:
Naw. LT, Deion, Reggie White were easily better.

LT is the GOAT.

+1 on this
Originally posted by elguapo:
Please, JJ Watt is much better. Donald is elite but at pass rushing. He is NOT great vs the run at all. Sometimes even a liability, especially against us. Rushes upfield too much with little gap integrity or awareness. Not a complete DT but absolutely awesome rushing the passer.

I'm trying to think of a comp. Maybe Derrick Thomas? Out of this world as a pass rusher (except Donald is better)l but absolutely a liability in the run game.

Bill Belichek said it best. "I'm not putting anybody in the class of Lawrence Taylor. I'd take LT, Reggie White, Prime Time, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, JJ Watt, Patrick Willis, and our own Ronnie Lott over Aaron Donald. He's among the best interior defenders ever however. Then there are other names that I didn't have the privilege to see in their prime, but I'd be willing to bet were better- Deacon Jones, Mean Joe Greene, and Alan Page in particular.
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
I'm trying to think of a comp. Maybe Derrick Thomas? Out of this world as a pass rusher (except Donald is better)l but absolutely a liability in the run game.

Bill Belichek said it best. "I'm not putting anybody in the class of Lawrence Taylor. I'd take LT, Reggie White, Prime Time, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, JJ Watt, Patrick Willis, and our own Ronnie Lott over Aaron Donald. He's among the best interior defenders ever however. Then there are other names that I didn't have the privilege to see in their prime, but I'd be willing to bet were better- Deacon Jones, Mean Joe Greene, and Alan Page in particular.

The best comp. I can put out there is John Randle. Donald is a better pass rusher and probably not as bad in the run game. Then again....I don't know exactly what the Rams ask of Donald, but he might be the best comparison. Warren Sapp is another.
Originally posted by RickyRoma:
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
I'm trying to think of a comp. Maybe Derrick Thomas? Out of this world as a pass rusher (except Donald is better)l but absolutely a liability in the run game.

Bill Belichek said it best. "I'm not putting anybody in the class of Lawrence Taylor. I'd take LT, Reggie White, Prime Time, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, JJ Watt, Patrick Willis, and our own Ronnie Lott over Aaron Donald. He's among the best interior defenders ever however. Then there are other names that I didn't have the privilege to see in their prime, but I'd be willing to bet were better- Deacon Jones, Mean Joe Greene, and Alan Page in particular.

The best comp. I can put out there is John Randle. Donald is a better pass rusher and probably not as bad in the run game. Then again....I don't know exactly what the Rams ask of Donald, but he might be the best comparison. Warren Sapp is another.

Yeah, I'd say Donald is Sapp or Randle 2.0. He takes their strengths to another level, but has the exact same weakness. There has never been an elite player on another team that was a rival that I feared less. I feared Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, Russell Wilson (still do), etc. Aaron Donald I respect, but there is no fear. We play the Rams and we're like, we're good, we have Daniel Brunskill.

Reggie White, Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, John Randle, Buck Buchanan, Michael Strahan, Randy White, Bob Lilly, Joe Greene, Alan Page, Bruce Smith. All of these DL are HOFers, a number have double-digit Pro Bowls and All-Pro awards. I limited Donald's competition to only DL. I'd say he's somewhere in the middle of them. I agree, overall LT was the baddest of them all, but would also include Butkus right behind him. Those guys simply destroyed anyone who got within their range, which was enormous.
Originally posted by CorvaNinerFan:
Reggie White, Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, John Randle, Buck Buchanan, Michael Strahan, Randy White, Bob Lilly, Joe Greene, Alan Page, Bruce Smith. All of these DL are HOFers, a number have double-digit Pro Bowls and All-Pro awards. I limited Donald's competition to only DL. I'd say he's somewhere in the middle of them. I agree, overall LT was the baddest of them all, but would also include Butkus right behind him. Those guys simply destroyed anyone who got within their range, which was enormous.

That's fair. I think the other positions come into play because people were talking best ever, but your example is better because it shows he isn't even close to being the best DT ever. Including the Reggie Whites, Deions, LTs, etc shows yeah, these guys changed the game.
No, LT, Butkus even
Originally posted by Stevec9932:
No, LT, Butkus even

I went back and rewatched some of Butkus' tape for old time's sake. Dude could have played today. He had the size and the speed—and he hit like no one else.
  • 9moon
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Originally posted by NinerTy:
After the Super Bowl on Sunday, I actually heard two boobs saying that Aaron Donald is the best defensive player ever!!! Now, it sounded like they didn't believe it but, they said it on TV. Now I'm hearing it from Sharpe, Wiley and Acho. What is this? I checked the stats from one Niners game and #99 had zeros across the board! Hell, we have a guard who OWNS HIM AND THE NINERS ARE THINKING ABOUT DUMPING HIM!!! Help me understand what's going on!!!

I can only speak for the players I saw since I started watching NFL in 1981... there are 2 players that come to mind when it comes to DEFENSE..

LT and PRIME !!!

I'm not sure Donald is even TOP 5..
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