Mar 3, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers former defensive end Aaron Donald waves to the crowd during a time-out against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. The North Carolina State Wolfpack won 74-67. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Aaron Donald Won’t Join The Cowboys

Pittsburg defensive tackle Aaron Donald, described by many as a perfect fit for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s “quick twitch” undertackle, won’t be a Cowboy this year as the St. Louis Rams made him the 13th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

One of the most coveted defensive lineman of this year’s class, Donald was a unanimous All American and Outland Trophy award winner and joins a Rams roster already deep with playmakers along the defensive line.

A four-year standout at Pittsburg, Donald turns 23 this month and plays the premium position in Marinelli’s 4-3 scheme: The undertackle – a 3-technique defensive tackle whose primary responsibility on every snap is to get into the backfield and wreak havoc.

“When you build this defense, this system, it starts with the undertackle,” Marinelli told a Chicago Bears reporter back when he joined the team in 2009. “You have to have the Mike, the Will, safety, you need a really good end. But (undertackle) is the motor that really gets this thing humming.”

Under tackles like Donald tend to shine in Marinelli’s system. Henry Melton was a Pro Bowler in Chicago in 2012; Jason Hatcher made his first Pro Bowl last year, the only season he played under Marinelli. Of course the standard bearer for undertackle in a Marinelli defense is four-time All Pro and Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.

Here are the top tackles remaining in this year’s draft:

Louis Nix, Notre Dame, 6’2”, 331 pounds

Timmy Jernigan, Florida State, 6’2”, 299 pounds

Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame, 6’6”, 304 pounds


RaShede Hageman, Minnesota, 6’6”, 310 pounds


Dominique Easley, Florida, 6’2”, 288 pounds


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  • PaulTX

    I can live with Martin. David might be mad they skipped on Pryor.

    • baronmwd

      Yes, I told David several times Safety was not the target for Cowboys in first round. Cowboys could have selected any Safety in the draft because they were all there at 16. I had Dallas taking Donald, Barr, Lewin or Martin if they stayed at 16. But I read today that if Pitt wouldn’t have taken Shazier at 15 Dallas would have. Last year I was happy with the Player we picked in first round but was unhappy with his value, thought like most that Dallas could have gotten Fredrick in 2nd. This year I like the player & value of Martin at 16. Round 1 good job.

      • PaulTX

        JJ is finally learning. I like what Garrett said about this is what worked in the 90′s, a strong OL, so that has been our focus.

  • Old Frog

    Martin? Yes!!! Old Frog doing backflips off his lilly pad like a young frog. They can do whatever they want with the next 10 picks and I’m happy.