PFF Immortals: Rams’ Aaron Donald inducted into PFF Hall of Fame

Over the last 16 NFL seasons, PFF has graded every player on every play of every game to create the best source of NFL analysis available. There have been hundreds of great players over that time, but the biggest football database on the planet allows us to focus on the very best to ever do it.

To celebrate the modern-day legends of the game, PFF has created exclusive NFTs to award to these players, the PFF immortals, who will go down as some of the greatest players in NFL history.

A first-round draft pick from 2014, Aaron Donald is going into his ninth NFL season after winning a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams in 2021. He has never earned a PFF grade below 90.0 over a full season and has been the league’s best pass-rusher — at any position — since entering the NFL.

Season PFF Overall Grade PFF Grade Rank
2021 93.6 1st of 144
2020 94.5 1st of 137
2019 93.6 1st of 123
2018 95.3 1st of 130
2017 94.0 1st of 133
2016 92.6 1st of 139
2015 92.9 1st of 140
2014 90.2 2nd of 144

Donald is the only interior rusher ever to record 100 or more quarterback pressures in a single season in the PFF era. Only three players have managed this feat, and the other two were edge rushers.

Donald has tallied 665 pressures since entering the league. The next closest defender (Cameron Jordan) is at 605, and the next interior lineman (Fletcher Cox) is at 520.

Donald has averaged over 83 pressures a season since entering the NFL. Donald, J.J. Watt and Fletcher Cox are the only interior linemen in the PFF era to exceed that over one season.

Donald has graded over 90.0 in 50 of his 127 regular-season games. He has 22 more 90.0-plus game grades than the next closest defender, Von Miller, who has played 23 more games. 

Donald has been worth 5.27 wins above replacement since 2014, averaging out at 0.66 wins per season. No interior defender in the PFF era has been more valuable. 

Going back to 2006, Donald owns six of the top nine single-season pressure totals among interior defensive linemen, including the top two. 

Donald owns the four best single-season PFF grades ever given to an interior defender and seven of the best eight.

Donald has won 22.2% of his pass-rush snaps since 2014, first among interior defenders with at least 1,000 pass-rush snaps. Second place, J.J. Watt, ranks second over that span at 18.9%. 

Donald has either sacked or hit the quarterback 228 times since 2014, 22 more than second place over that period. 

No defensive lineman has more tackles for loss or no gain since 2014 than Donald, who has 115.


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