Monday, February 24, 2014
Donald still feels comfort zone with Falcons
By Vaughn McClure
As he worked closely with Atlanta Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox at the Senior Bowl, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald viewed himself as a perfect fit in the Falcons' defense.
His thought process hasn't changed.
"I still feel like they would be a good fit for me," Donald said at the NFL combine.
The Falcons and the rest of the league will get a closer look at Donald when the defensive linemen work out on Monday. Donald measured in at just a little over 6 feet and 285 pounds. He already threw up 35 reps on the bench press, the second-best among defensive linemen. He already showed his tremendous ability during practices at the Senior Bowl after winning every major college award for a defensive lineman.
While all eyes with be on South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on Monday, Donald shouldn't be ignored. He could have an immediate impact on an NFL team as an inside force, despite his size. In terms of the Falcons, Donald could be a nice option early in the second round if they land a pass-rusher in free agency and decide to go with an offensive tackle in the first round.
The Falcons could need help at defensive tackle with Jonathan Babineaux, Corey Peters, and Peria Jerry all headed to free agency. The Falcons had informal talks with Babineaux's representation at the combine but no contract offer was made.
Of course, Donald hopes to go in the first round. If he does, Cox might have something to do with it.
"The one thing I learned from Coach Cox was to run to the ball," Donald said, "or you're going to get those up-downs. Just run to the ball every single play. Don't take five steps to the ball. Take 10 steps. You never know what could happen if you continue to fly around."