In a year when the Senior Bowl is lacking in top-level talent, the best college player who chose to attend was Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who won the Outland Trophy as the best college lineman, the Lombardi Award as the best lineman or linebacker and the Bednarik and Nagurski awards as the best defensive player. The best college players don’t always turn out to be the best pro prospects, but at this year’s Senior Bowl, Donald looked like both.
Donald was selected as the most outstanding player during Senior Bowl practices, and Falcons coach Mike Smith, who is coaching the North team in the Senior Bowl, said Donald stood above the rest.
“Donald is a very explosive defensive tackle,” Smith said, via AL.com. “I’ve been very impressed with him. He’s short in stature by NFL standards and doesn’t maybe have all the measurables, but he’s one of the more explosive guys we have on the North squad. He’s done a very nice job both in the running and the pass game.”
Donald is only six feet tall and 288 pounds, so he’ll be one of the smallest defensive tackles in the NFL next season. But when you combine dominant play on the field in college with a great week of practice for the pro coaches and scouts in attendance at the Senior Bowl, production means more than size.