Rams News: Aaron Donald Voted To NFLPA Players’ All-Pro First Team

Originally published by RamsNewswire.com

Official award winners for the 2023 NFL season have not yet been revealed. However, the NFL Players Association — for the second year in a row — has released their player-voted All-Pro First Team. And Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald made the cut.

All active NFL players were given one vote within their position and for the positions they line up against. This means a center could vote for a center, nose tackle, interior defensive lineman and off-ball linebacker. Players could not vote for themselves or their teammates and anyone who missed five or more games as of Week 15 was ineligible. Finally, special teams were decided by a ballot created by “team leader nominations.”

In total, 30 players were selected to the NFLPA Players’ All-Pro First Team. There were 12 offensive players due to a tie at left guard between Cleveland Browns’ Joel Bitonio and Dallas Cowboys’ Tyler Smith. Donald was the Rams’ only First Team selection.

Donald was given a difficult task ahead of the 2023 season when the Rams traded away most of the team’s other defensive stars, leaving Donald to lead a unit comprised mainly of young players and late-round draft picks. Despite the usual double and triple-teaming that Donald saw, he finished the year with eight sacks, three pass deflections, 16 tackles for loss and 23 quarterback hits to go along with a Pro Bowl selection.

He ensured that the Rams defense — expected to be among the worst in the league heading into the season — finished the year admirably. They ranked 20th in total yards allowed per game and Donald’s defensive line finished 12th in rushing yards allowed per game. The Rams made the postseason thanks in large part to the way Donald helped mold the defense around him.

He is also widely respected around the league and is unarguably one of the best defensive players of this generation, if not NFL history. It remains to be seen if he’ll make the official All-Pro team, but this is certainly a worthy honor.

The Cowboys led the NFL with five selections.

Full NFLPA Players’ All-Pro First Team

Offense

QB: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
RB: Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers
FB: Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers
WR: CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys; Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins
TE: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
LT: Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers
LG (tie): Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns; Tyler Smith, Dallas Cowboys
C: Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles
RG: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
RT: Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles

Defense

EDGE: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns; Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders
NT: Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants
IDL: Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs; Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
OBL: Roquan Smith, Baltimore Ravens; Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers
CB: DaRon Bland, Dallas Cowboys; Patrick Surtain II, Denver Broncos
FS: Jessie Bates III, Atlanta Falcons
SS: Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens

Special Teams

KR: Keisean Nixon, Green Bay Packers
PR: Derius Davis, Los Angeles Chargers
Core Teamer: Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Detroit Lions; Brenden Schooler, New England Patriots
K: Brandon Aubrey, Dallas Cowboys
P: AJ Cole, Las Vegas Raiders
LS: Ross Matiscik, Jacksonville Jaguars

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