This is my third article in my Making the Case Against series, links to the other articles are at the end of the paragraph. Yes, I figure this will probably not be a popular Fanpost for some people, but I feel like I have to present a case against drafting another DL with our first-round pick, even one as good as Aaron Donald. I feel like this would be in large part a very bad move for the Vikings, because it would signal their belief that Sharrif Floyd is not competent enough to take over the 3-technique spot from K-Will. So this is not so much a railing against the skill of Donald, because he is pretty good, but more presenting a case of why we should not draft him. And here we go! (Link to Mettenberger article) (Link to HHCD article).
As a bit of a change from my last few articles, I am going to go more into depth with Donald's strength's before going to his weaknesses to balance out the viewpoint a little bit more.
What he has going for him:
- Extremely explosive. Of the four draft profiles I used, all of them were extremely complimentary of his skills in getting off the ball, which is a good sign for a top DL player.
- He is a technician. He is not the biggest player to play at the under tackle, so he uses outstanding technical skills to get past linemen that are much larger than him in height and weight.
- He's able to slide to defensive end on passing downs, which is a helpful ability because it lets a team get its best pass rushers all in on the same plays.
- He has an extremely high motor and rarely if ever gives up on a play.
- There aren't many knocks against Donald, but the biggest one for him is size. Right now, he is currently measured at 6'1" and weighing 285 lbs. While Donald is a good technician, the fact that he is so short means that he can't put too much more weight on his frame without giving up some of his skill. His height will likely also keep him from being as good at knocking down passes as, say, the 6'6" Ra'Shede Hageman. His size also allows him to be knocked off the ball by double teams if he is unable to split the double team with speed and agility.
- The Vikings already have an heir apparent at under tackle. Sharrif Floyd was the Vikings 23rd overall pick last year, and to pick Donald just a year afterwards would be an extremely surprising move. And like I have said elsewhere, picking Donald would almost certainly mean that Floyd is no longer in the good graces of Vikings personnel managers, because he has a large amount of upside to tap himself.
- Funnily, like Floyd as well, Donald is also getting a slight knock from having shorter than average arms, which can hinder a lineman's ability to get off the line as cleanly as they want to against larger lineman.
- He has been knocked for not being as good against the run as against the pass.
Thanks for reading; give me your comments below :)
(DraftHQ) (NFL.com) (CBSSports.com) (ESPN)