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Aaron Donald Named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

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The Rams' rookie DT took home the award for the best defensive rookie for the 2014 NFL season.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Just rewards.

Aaron Donald was named the 2014 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year tonight, and justly so. Despite a challenge from Oakland OLB Khalil Mack, Donald was a hell of a terror in his first year finishing with 47 combined tackles and 9 sacks standing out amongst elevated peers along the Rams' D-line.

In doing so, Donald joins special company. The Rams' only other DROY was Isiah Robertson who picked up the award for his 1971 season; Robertson would go on to hit the Pro Bowl six times and pick up four All-Pro designations. Additionally, the Rams have had only three other rookies of the year in Eric Dickerson (1983), Jerome Bettis (1993) and Sam Bradford (2010).

Donald's selection as the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft came with plenty of expectations. He surpassed them. Now the team, the fans and the greater NFL world is looking to see how much of a star Donald can blossom into.

For tonight, he's well on his way to becoming something special.