Former South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney wasn’t the only showstopper on Monday at the NFL Combine after running a blazing 4.53 in the 40-yard dash, but according to NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock, former Pittsburgh Panthers defensive tackle Aaron Donald was just as impressive.
Donald racked up awards left and right during a standout 2013 season that saw the 6-foot, 285-pound lineman earn consensus All-American honors and win the Outland, Lombardi, Bednarik and Nagurski Awards. Essentially, he swept all the defensive awards he was eligible for.
Donald ran the 40 in 4.68 seconds, vertical jumped 32 inches and had a 9-8 broad jump and looked great in position drills. “I will put this day up … with any defensive tackle [at the combine] in the last 10 years,” Mayock said.
The offseason has been a showcase for Donald who didn’t receive a great deal of notoriety during the season despite winning all these awards. He had 11 sacks and 28.5 tackles for loss and dominated during the week of the Senior Bowl.
He finished the season as a second round pick, but after a stellar performance at the combine on top of his strong showing at the senior bowl, he could hear his name called in the middle of the first round, perhaps by the Chicago Bears who have the 14th pick and need a defensive tackle.