FanPost

Why history suggests Donald is not a top 50 pick.


Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh

Ht: 6' 5/8''

Wt: 288

Arm Length: 31 3/4''

Aaron Donald has been the darling of the early draft season with many people proclaiming him to be the Cowboy's target of choice at pick 16/17 with some worried he is off the board to Chicago by pick 14. While I agree that Donald is an intriguing prospect for the Cowboys' system history suggests he isn't even a top 50 pick.

I went back and collected heights and weights of all the defensive linemen drafted in the top 50 picks in the last ten years. The list is shown below.

Draft Position

Name

Position

Height

Weight

2004 #14

Tommie Harris

DT

6-3

295

2004 #18

Will Smith

DE

6-3

282

2004 #20

Kenechi Udeze

DE

6-3

281

2004 #21

Vince Wilfork

DT

6-2

325

2004 #23

Marcus Tubbs

DT

6-3

318

2004 #35

Igor Olshansky

DE

6-5

315

2004 #36

Junior Siavii

DT

6-5

315

2004 #42

Travis Laboy

DE

6-3

250

2004 #47

Tank Johnson

DT

6-3

315

2005 #16

Travis Johnson

DT

6-3

311

2005 #18

Erasmus James

DE

6-4

261

2005 #28

Luis Castillo

DE

6-3

290

2005 #31

Mike Patterson

DT

6-1

300

2005 #37

Shaun Cody

DE

6-4

307

2005 #46

Matt Roth

DE

6-4

225

2006 #1

Mario Williams

DE

6-6

292

2006 #12

Haloti Ngata

DT

6-4

340

2006 #14

Brodrick Bunkley

DT

6-2

306

2006 #20

Tamba Hali

DE

6-3

275

2006 #26

John McCargo

DT

6-2

307

2006 #32

Mathias Kiwanuka

DE

6-5

267

2007 #4

Gaines Adams

DE

6-5

258

2007 #8

Jamal Anderson

DE

6-6

280

2007 #10

Amobi Okoye

DT

6-2

292

2007 #13

Adam Carriker

DT

6-6

300

2007 #16

Justin Harrell

DT

6-4

315

2007 #17

Jarvis Moss

DE

6-7

260

2007 #33

Alan Branch

DT

6-6

325

2008 #3

Chris Long

DE

6-3

268

2008 #5

Glenn Dorsey

DT

6-1

297

2008 #7

Sedrick Ellis

DT

6-1

307

2008 #8

Derrick Harvey

DT

6-5

268

2008 #28

Lawrence Jackson

DE

6-4

278

2008 #29

Kentwan Balmer

DE

6-5

317

2008 #32

Phillip Merling

DE

6-5

315

2008 #47

Trevor Laws

DT

6-0

304

2008 #50

Calais Campbell

DE

6-8

300

2009 #3

Tyson Jackson

DE

6-4

296

2009 #9

BJ Rajii

DT

6-2

337

2009 #11

Aaron Maybin

DE

6-4

237

2009 #13

Brian Orakpo

DE

6-4

257

2009 #16

Larry English

DE

6-2

255

2009 #24

Peria Jerry

DT

6-2

295

2009 #32

Ziggy Hood

DE

6-3

300

2009 #40

Ron Brace

DT

6-3

330

2009 #43

Everette Brown

DE

6-1

263

2010 #2

Ndamukong Suh

DT

6-4

307

2010 #3

Gerald McCoy

DT

6-4

300

2010 #10

Tyson Alalualu

DE

6-3

295

2010 #13

Brandon Graham

DE

6-2

265

2010 #15

Jason Pierre Paul

DE

6-5

278

2010 #16

Derrick Morgan

DE

6-3

271

2010 #26

Dan Williams

DT

6-3

314

2010 #31

Jerry Hughes

DE

6-2

254

2010 #35

Brian Price

DT

6-1

303

2010 #41

Terrell Troup

DT

6-3

327

2010 #44

Lamarr Houston

DE

6-3

300

2010 #46

Linval Joseph

DT

6-4

323

2011 #3

Marcel Dareus

DT

6-3

331

2011 #11

JJ Watt

DE

6-5

289

2011 #13

Nick Fairley

DT

6-4

298

2011 #14

Robert Quinn

DE

6-4

264

2011 #18

Corey Liuget

DE

6-2

300

2011 #20

Adrian Clayborn

DE

6-3

280

2011 #21

Phil Taylor

DT

6-3

335

2011 #24

Cameron Jordan

DE

6-4

287

2011 #30

Muhammad Wilkerson

DT

6-4

315

2011 #31

Cameron Heyward

DE

6-5

288

2011 #37

Jabal Sheard

DE

6-2

255

2011 #41

Jarvis Jenkins

DE

6-4

315

2012 #11

Dontari Poe

DT

6-3

346

2012 #12

Fletcher Cox

DT

6-4

300

2012 #14

Michael Brockers

DT

6-5

326

2012 #15

Bruce Irvin

DE

6-3

248

2012 #16

Quinton Coples

DE

6-6

290

2012 #19

Shea Mclelin

DE

6-3

260

2012 #21

Chandler Jones

DE

6-5

265

2012 #36

Derek Wolfe

DT

6-5

285

2012 #38

Andre Branch

DE

6-5

265

2012 #49

Kendall Reyes

DE

6-4

300

2013 #3

Dion Jordan

DE

6-6

260

2013 #5

Ezekiel Ansah

DE

6-5

271

2013 #13

Sheldon Richardson

DT

6-3

294

2013 #14

Star Lotulelei

DT

6-2

315

2013 #23

Shariff Floyd

DT

6-3

305

2013 #26

Datone Jones

DE

6-4

285

2013 #28

Sylvester Williams

DT

6-2

313

2013 #40

Cornelius Carradine

DE

6-4

273

2013 #44

Kawaan Short

DT

6-3

310

2013 #49

Jonathan Hankins

DT

6-2

320

Of the players in this list, the following players most closely represent Aaron Donald in terms of measurables:

  • Mike Patterson DT 6-1 300, Arms = 32''
  • Brodrick Bunkley DT 6-2 306, Arms = 33 3/4''
  • John McCargo DT 6-2 307, Arms = 33 1/4''
  • Glenn Dorsey DT 6-1 297, Arms = 34 5/8"
  • Trevor Laws DT 6-1 304, Arms = 33 1/4''
  • Peria Jerry DT 6-2 295, Arms = 34''
  • Brian Price DT 6-1 303, Arms = 32 1/4"
  • Corey Liuget DE 6-2 300, Arms = 33 1/4"
If Donald were to be drafted in the top 50 picks in this year's draft he would be:
  • The shortest dlineman drafted in the top 50 in the last 10 years.
  • Almost the lightest defensive tackle (Derek Wolfe = 285, but he played a lot of DE for Denver).
  • Of all the comparable players drafted in the last ten years he has the smallest arm.
If Donald's measurables were deficient in one area that might be one thing, but across the board his size is an issue when compared with historical measurements at the position in the modern era. In fact, if you look at recent draft history you are much more likely to find players like Donald in the 4th-7th rounds of the draft. Some notable players of similar size to Donald:
  • Geno Atkins 6-1 293, Arms = 32'' (Atkins is undoubtedly the ceiling for the Donald pick in terms of projection. Atkins went 120th overall.)
  • Laroi Glover 6-1 290 (Glover was drafted 166th overall.)
  • Earl Mitchell 6-1 293 (Mitchell was drafted 81st overall.)
  • Jurrell Casey 6-1 295 (Casey was drafted 99th overall.)

Overall there are some nice comparisons here, which is encouraging to me that a player like Donald can succeed in the NFL, but let's not kid ourselves. Donald is not a lock to go in the first round and if he did he would be the smallest DT drafted as such in the last 10 years.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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