Aaron Donald was named the 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Saturday night by the Associated Press, the four-year veteran's first time winning the award.
Donald, the catalyst of the NFC West champion Rams' 'D' that ranked 12th in points allowed and No. 4 in sack percentage, tallied 11 sacks, 15 TFL, 27 QB hits and an NFC-best 5 forced fumbles.
In four seasons in the NFL, the 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft has 39 sacks and 72 tackles for loss. His 2017 production was actually down slightly from two years ago, but Donald was a dominant weekly force despite holding in training camp and quickly mastering a new defense under new coordinator Wade Phillips.
The Rams were among the NFL's biggest surprises in Year One under Coach of the Year Sean McVay. Their breakthrough season wouldn't have happened without Donald, who earned 25 of a possible 50 first-place votes, with Calais Campbell (17) and Chandler Jones also receiving multiple votes.
Pro Football Weekly last month named Donald our Defensive MVP. Here's Arthur Arkush's story. From Summer holdout to defensive MVP, Donald is almost unstoppable.