Pitt great and Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald was ranked as the No. 2 player in the NFL Top 100 on Saturday. Donald’s 2021 ranking was up from his No. 3 ranking in 2020, and it marked the third time he made the top three in the last three years.
By virtue of his No. 2 ranking, Donald was the top defensive player in the NFL Top 100, and the only player in the league ranked ahead of him was Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The top five was rounded out by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at No. 3, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry at No. 4 and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce at No. 5.
In addition, Donald was a rarity as one of two defensive players included in the top 10, with the other being Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end T.J. Watt. There were also just six defensive players in the top 20. And Donald was one of seven defensive tackles in the top 100 as well as the only one in the top 25.
Donald is coming off a 2020 season in which he logged 13.5 sacks, 14 tackles for losses, 28 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. And as a result, the lineman earned first-team All-Pro honors for the sixth consecutive year in addition to being named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in four years.