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Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald makes Adam Schein’s 2019 NFL MVP candidates list

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Could Aaron Donald be the first defender since 1986 to win the MVP title?

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Adam Schein of NFL.com released his shortlist of nine NFL players who’re his favorites to win the MVP award in the 2019 season. In non-surprising fashion, eight of the nine choices represented on the list are offensive players — six quarterbacks, two running backs — with only one defender making the list. Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald is the only defensive talent to make the list, and although it doesn’t seem very fair, it’s likely the way the awards shake out when it comes to the MVP award. The last defender to win the NFL MVP award was New York Giants edge Lawrence Taylor, and that was in 1986.

Here’s Schein’s blurb on Donald’s chances:

8) Aaron Donald, DT, LA Rams

The Rams’ stud is the single best non-quarterback in the NFL and the best defensive player in the league, bar none. He wrecks games. He’s unstoppable. No other interior defensive lineman has ever posted as many sacks in a season as Donald’s league-leading 20.5 last year. Donald will be my pick, as per usual, for Defensive Player of the Year, an award he’s won two years running. Now, his MVP candidacy does suffer from the fact that he plays defense, at a position that is not commonly associated with gaudy stats, as well as the fact that Donald’s head coach, Sean McVay, leads a sensational and explosive offense for the Rams. But never get it twisted. This cat is the truth.

Just about everything Shein said is spot on. Donald — who is the best player in the league regardless of position — is hamstrung because of the side of the ball he plays, though his impact is far greater than the MVP award suggests. Regardless, Donald comes in second-last place on Schein’s rankings, ahead of only New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara.