2014 NFL Draft: Is Aaron Donald a fit for the Rams?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams are pretty well stocked along the defensive line, but there are a few players in the draft who could make it even better.

The idea of the St. Louis Rams drafting Jadeveon Clowney has been well-covered. He's an option with the second pick, if they don't trade it. But there's another defensive lineman who could also be an even better fit and might just be available at No. 13: Aaron Donald from Pitt.

Donald wowed the world at the Combine. His work there was enough to get him moved up from Mike Mayock's third-best defensive tackle to the top DT on the draft guru's board as of today. But as good as his Combine numbers were, his tape is even better.

Retired NFL defensive end Stephen White put Donald under the microscope today. He walked away very impressed with what Donald can do, playing at any position along the defensive line and possessing the kind of technique many NFL veterans will never have.

... this guy plays at a level, technique-wise, that I haven't seen from a college defensive lineman in the last decade. Yes, I'm including Atkins, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh, Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley and anybody else you can name. None of them had what this kid has at that point in their football lives.

The Rams drafted Michael Brockers in the first round in 2012, and signed free agent Kendall Langford that same year. Langford has two more years left on his contract. Donald would essentially be his replacement, working mostly as a three-technique while Brockers handles the power role.

Taking Donald with the 13th pick, if he makes it that far, would allow the Rams to part ways with Langford and his $7 million cap hit next season (or even $6 million cap hit this season). Not to mentioned giving them TWO blue chip interior linemen on an all-blue chip line bookended by Robert Quinn and Chris Long.

It's maybe a stretch for the Rams to draft Donald, but Fisher's draft history is long on defensive linemen taken in the first round.

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