Aaron Donald finally won Defensive Player of the Year on Saturday. Donald has been dominating the NFL since he entered the league and should have won DPOY a couple of years ago. Unfortunately for Donald, he played on a bad Los Angeles Rams team until this year. Donald also doesn’t play a flashy position as defensive tackle is often overlooked during awards season. Donald is the best player in the NFL and it’s not even close. Those who argue against him clearly haven’t watched him play. Donald is in the backfield seemingly every play and was on display against the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs.

While many were shocked by how disruptive he was against Matt Ryan, that was simply a regular game for Donald. This year he had 11 sacks. In 14 games. As a defensive tackle. He also had five forced fumbles this year and a fumble recovery. This is a guy who beats double teams in his sleep. Coming out of Pitt, a knock on him was how small he was, as he’s only 6’0” and 284 lbs. However, he’s able to use leverage and a lower center of gravity to push 300 lbs. offensive lineman around on seemingly every play.

While Aaron Donald won Defensive Player of the Year, Todd Gurley won Offensive Player of the Year. He led the league with 19 touchdowns and 2,093 yards from scrimmage in 15 games. Alvin Kamara and Deandre Hopkins tied for second in touchdowns with 13 apiece. This year Gurley averaged 4.7 yards per carry and became the third player ever to tally 2,000 scrimmage yards, 10 rushing touchdowns and 6 receiving touchdowns. The other two are hall of famers O.J. Simpson and Marshall Faulk.

After a, down offensive year last season, Todd Gurley’s role completely changed after Sean McVay was hired. Gurley became much more involved as a pass-catcher while Jeff Fisher used him only as a rusher. Many were unaware of Gurley’s capabilities as a route runner prior to this season. Jeff Fisher’s offense was very one-dimensional as it relied on Gurley breaking off big plays every game. However, with a passing attack in McVay’s system, it obviously opens up the defense, allowing Gurley to wreak havoc.

Speaking of Sean McVay, the first-year head coach has been named the Coach of the Year. In his first year on the job, McVay transformed the worst offense in the league into the best. Last year under Jeff Fisher the Rams endured a 4-12 season without a first round pick after trading for Goff. At the time, Goff seemed like a bust as he was in, as Todd Gurley described it, “a middle school offense”. In McVay’s first year, the Rams went 11-5 and Jared Goff was elected to the pro-bowl.

The Rams have quickly built a great team at every level. The offense is the best in the league and the defense is great with Aaron Donald. The special teams contain three all-pro selections this year. McVay is already one of the best coaches in the league and GM Les Snead is showing why he was kept around after Fisher was fired. Suddenly the Rams look like a dominant team heading into the future.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Anfernee McLemore shares positive news after horrific injury

Jets could offer Kirk Cousins fully guaranteed contract

Roger Federer cracks funny joke after reaching No. 1 ranking

LeBron James responds to Laura Ingraham’s jab on Instagram

Czech skier Ester Ledecka gets shoutout from Katie Ledecky after surprise gold

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwyane Wade instigated Kevin Love drama with Cavaliers?

Kyrie Irving leaves open possibility of playing with LeBron James again

Rockets owner: Luxury tax no issue if competing for titles

Lindsey Vonn dedicates race to late grandfather

Washington letting 'pettiness' dictate Kirk Cousins situation

Marlins’ Dan Straily ‘glad’ critical stars were traded

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

Big surprises, disappointments heading into NBA All-Star break

Signing A.J. McCarron would be a typical Browns move

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

Fixing the NFL catch rule: No more 'surviving the ground'

Best Winter Olympic athlete from every state

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

The 'Hope springs eternal' quiz

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

The 'My Bronny valentine' quiz

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

The '100-point game that you never heard about' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker