The Rams have done work to bolster their offense this offseason, dealing for quarterback Matthew Stafford. That soon-to-be-completed trade gave Stafford better odds to earn his first MVP award in 2021.
But cornerback Jalen Ramsey thinks someone already on the Rams roster should garner more consideration: three-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald.
“I’ve never seen anyone like him. In my opinion, he’s the best player in the NFL. I think AD should start being in the conversation for MVP,” Ramsey said during an appearance on the Huddle and Flow podcast. “I know after he won defensive player of the year again, certain people were in an uproar about him winning. I’m like, bro are y’all serious? Like, he is doing these numbers from D-tackle.
“His impact on the game is crazy. You look at most valuable player, and what it actually means is how valuable is this guy to this team. Take this guy off of this team and then where does their value as a team go? And you put AD on any NFL team, and I guarantee you that D-line is as top five D-line — probably top three D-line — automatically.”
Donald won his third DPOY award last month after recording 13.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 28 quarterback hits, and four forced fumbles in 2020. He previously won the award in 2018 and 2017.
As vocal as Ramsey is, even he defers to Donald.
“AD for sure is the leader, though,” Ramsey said. “AD leads me. So even if y’all feel like, ‘Oh Jalen, he’s got them turnt up,’ or this or that or whoever it maybe — no, it’s AD. It’s AD for sure, just because he inspires us to do that. We’ve got to lift our game to another level playing with AD. He’s like a big brother — like, nah, I can’t let AD down. I’ve got to step this up. That’s how I feel, personally.”
Ramsey and Donald have both signed long-term contracts with Los Angeles, and should be the club’s two defensive leaders for years to come. But the last time a defensive player won MVP was way back in 1986 with Lawrence Taylor.
Whether or not Donald ever receives serious consideration for the honor, he’s going to continue keeping offensive coordinators up at night trying to figure out how to slow him down.