2014 NFL Draft: Aaron Donald a lock to be off board in top 15 picks, per ESPN's Mel Kiper

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

First, a cheap plug for our NFL Draft page. Be sure to head there for all of our articles on Pitt's potential draftees.

Aaron Donald is virtually assured of being a first-round pick in this week's NFL Draft. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper threw out another prediction on the Pitt defensive tackle recently, saying he'll be gone within the top 15 picks:

"I’ll say no chance. Zero percent chance Aaron Donald is there. … I don’t see any way. He’s the third best defensive player in this draft by far, and that’s behind Clowney and Mack who both are in line to be the No. 1 pick. Do the math. A defensive tackle in today’s NFL who dominated the regular season, dominated the Senior Bowl practices, dominated the combine, did everything perfect, how is he going to drop down to 16?"

The context of Kiper's statement was on the heels of being asked in a radio interview on KESN-FM if Donald would be there at No. 16 for the Dallas Cowboys - one of the teams reportedly interested in him.

Not a huge surprise here. From most projections I've seen, Donald checks in somewhere in the 10-14 range as far as where he could wind up. That's not to say Dallas won't be able to secure him - they can always move up in a trade. However, without making a move, Kiper says that the Cowboys really don't have a shot at landing him.

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 founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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