Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Targets: Aaron Donald Scouting Report


Sep 28, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) is blocked by Virginia Cavaliers offensive guard Luke Bowanko (70) and center Jackson Matteo (67) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh defeated Virginia 14-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors are starting to circulate that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might have interest in drafting Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the seventh overall selection in tomorrow’s draft, with former Colts GM Bill Polian going as far as saying he thinks the Bucs will in fact draft him.

This is drawing unfavourable opinion on social media where people don’t seem to think the pick would be a good one for the Bucs and much of the discussion surrounds possibly having to move Gerald McCoy to nose tackle to fit Donald’s playing style into the Bucs d-line.

With that in mind, now might be a great time to check out the scouting report of Donald. Below are the highlights of his scouting report, provided by our good friends over at www.withthefirstpick.com, so please go check out their scouting reports of many of this year’s top prospects.

Vitals and Build

Donald is listed at 6’ 285lbs and he has done a good job of making sure he puts the weight on the right way. It would have been easy to just throw on weight for the sake of doing it to get closer to the magic number of 300 but he has maintained his athleticism of a defensive end while playing tackle. He is extremely quick and shows good burst with some impressive functional strength despite his size. Donald also demonstrates a good motor.

Snap Anticipation and First Step

Donald gets off the ball extremely well. He anticipates the snap well and fires off the ball consistently with a quick step that gets up the field. Donald is able to get an advantage off of the snap regularly and forces them to adjust to his moves. The only thing he could stand to really improve is how high he comes out of his stance but he is not bad by any stretch; just an opportunity to improve. He has natural leverage by virtue of his height, so if he can stay low, he can get the most out of his strength. His first step is good as a defensive end but it is extremely impressive when he is lined up inside.

Block Shedding

Donald has a variety of moves he will use to beat blockers which is in part why they are successful. He does a good job of executing his pass rush moves as well as just using good technique to beat opponents and get into the backfield. Donald showcases a bull rush that he can use to occasionally drive opponents into the backfield and into the quarterback. He is able to generate a ton of momentum in a hurry and with his quickness can catch opponents off guard. Donald also does a good job of using his hands.

Run Stopping

Donald holds up better at the point of attack than people might think. He has gotten much more powerful and has shown instances where he is able to collapse the pocket when he is single blocked. He is certainly not going to have a lot of success against double teams but because he generally uses good leverage, he can make the most of the strength he possesses.

Pass Rushing

This is where Donald shows a lot of potential. He is able to rush the passer effectively from both the end and tackle spots. When opponents are pass blocking, he demonstrates the ability to take advantage and drive some opponents into the backfield. In addition to the fact he will use an array of moves, he is relentless with his effort and can make plays on the second and third effort.

For the complete scouting report of Donald, please click here.