1. Aaron Donald, DT, LA Rams
Without regard to position, Donald is pound for pound the best player in the NFL right now. He’s easily been the most impactful defensive player in the league since his rookie season in 2014. He’s been a Pro Bowler in all five seasons and has won NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors the past two seasons. Coming off a season in which he had 20.5 sacks, he’s close to unstoppable, at least without committing two linemen to block him on every play.
In 2019, Donald will continue to anchor a Los Angeles defense that looks good on paper. The Rams will probably need a little more out of their defense this year than they got when they went to the Super Bowl last season. But with Donald on the field, the Rams have an advantage on defense that no other team can claim.