2014 NFL Mock Drafts: Sports Illustrated projection has Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald at No. 14 to Chicago Bears

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

We're still a little ways off from the NFL Draft, so admittedly, I've not been paying a ton of attention to the mock drafts floating around there. One jumped out at me recently, though, that was difficult to ignore.

Sports Illustrated recently projected Pitt defensive lineman Aaron Donald all the way up at No. 14 going to the Chicago Bears:

14. Chicago Bears (8-8): Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt.

Injuries marred Chicago’s defensive line in 2013, but projecting Donald here is more about the future than any short-term spackle. Pitt opponents tried just about everything to slow him down, and nothing worked. Because you won’t often see an interior lineman blast off and kill the gaps as he does, Donald would have the chance to become Chicago’s best interior defensive lineman since Tommie Harris’ glory days.

That's really much higher than I would have expected him to go. Despite the huge season, you can hear questions about his size wherever you turn. I'm not one of those that buys into the 'he's not big enough, so he can't play' theory, but it's out there and I didn't know Donald would be projected so highly.

He just had such a big season, though, I suppose it's getting harder to ignore. Considering he put up those numbers against FBS competition in a major-conference league, that size issue may be starting to float away.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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