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2015 Pro Bowl: St. Louis Rams' Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn earn spots

12/24/2014

SELECTIONS

Aaron Donald, DT, first Pro Bowl selection: The first Rams rookie to make the Pro Bowl since Jerome Bettis in 1993 and the first Rams defensive rookie to earn a bid since linebacker Isiah Robertson in 1971, Donald leads all rookies in sacks with eight. Those eight sacks also rank fifth among defensive tackles. In addition, he has 17 tackles for loss, most by a defensive tackle since the NFL began tracking the statistic in 1997. Next up for Donald is a shot at the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, an honor he'll have to battle Baltimore linebacker C.J. Mosley, who also earned a Pro Bowl nod, for.

Who he beat out: Jacksonville DT Sen'Derrick Marks, San Francisco DT Justin Smith, New York Jets DT Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Tennessee DT Jurrell Casey -- Marks probably has the biggest beef here after posting 8.5 sacks, second-most among defensive tackles, but Donald was deserving of his spot and figures to be making this trip multiple times over the course of his career.

Robert Quinn, DE, second Pro Bowl selection: Quinn's 10.5 sacks pale in comparison to his 2013 output but are still enough to lead the team and give him three consecutive seasons in double digits. Rams coaches credit Quinn with 35 quarterback pressures, 22 quarterback hits and 13 tackles for loss. Quinn's case was certainly buoyed by his emerging reputation as one of the best pass-rushers in the league. Over the past three seasons, he has 40 sacks, which is second only to Houston's J.J. Watt in that time.

Who he beat out: Buffalo DE Jerry Hughes, Philadelphia DE Fletcher Cox, Seattle DE Michael Bennett, Minnesota DE Everson Griffen -- Griffen's 12 sacks are third in the league, but he's the only one of this group with more than Quinn. Players such as Cox and Bennett change the game in more ways than sacks, but neither necessarily has the case to make it over Quinn.