clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Aaron Donald a unanimous selection for Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team of the 2010s

New, comments

The Rams also add a punter to the list, as two of the top players at their positions for awhile now

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As you can see, I did find a picture of Aaron Donald and Johnny Hekker together. It just so happens they were cardboard cutouts at the time. Here’s another place you can find Donald and Hekker: as members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s all-decade team for the 2010s.

Donald was one of eight players who were unanimously selected by the 48-person committee. The others were Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Joe Thomas, Marshal Yanda, Von Miller, J.J. Watt, and Justin Tucker.

Over the 2010s, Donald recorded 72 sacks, which ranks 18th overall for the decade, but he didn’t get started until 2014; every person listed ahead of him was already in the league by 2010 or started their careers in 2010 or 2011, except for Chandler Jones, who started in 2012. If you start from 2014, then Donald has the second-most sacks in the NFL over that period of time, behind Jones. His 117 tackles for loss ranks first, by far, from 2014-2019, as does his 173 QB hits.

He’s also doing this as an interior player, not an edge rusher, and often as by far the best player on his defense with few notable distractions around him. It’s worth mentioning that Watt is second in QB hits despite playing in 30 fewer games than Donald since 2014. It’s also worth mentioning that the AFC South has been a much weaker division than the NFC West, which is the division with the most players on the NFL’s all-decade team.

The Seattle Seahawks have five members, the Arizona Cardinals had four, and the San Francisco 49ers had three. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was listed as an all-decade coach next to Bill Belichick.

Not including short-term team members like Eric Weddle, Ndamukong Suh, the Rams were less represented than their division mates, but also didn’t get off the ground until 2017 under Sean McVay. One constant during that time however was punter Johnny Hekker, who was a member of the team alongside punter Shane Lechler. Hekker was a first team All-Pro four times from 2013-2017.

These two players stood above their peers for a long period of time and there’s certainly nothing flimsy about their place next to each other on this list. I’m not so sure about the cardboard though.