Aaron Donald is the NFL's best pass-rusher, and the No. 2 defender isn't even close. What's more telling is the way in which Donald dominates is completely different than how the rest of the league's best approach the job.
Yes, the Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle leads the league in sacks with 12.5, but sacks undersell Donald's greatness. That statistic fails to capture the impact of an elite disruptor on a play-to-play basis.
One way we can better measure Donald's pass-rushing ability is through pass rush win rate (PRWR), which objectively identifies the percentage of plays a defender beats his blocker within 2.5 seconds of a snap, with the help of NFL Next Gen Stats.
Donald leads the NFL with a 43 percent PRWR. That's four percentage points better than the next-best defender, his former teammate Robert Quinn, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins in the offseason. The next-best defensive tackle after Donald? Mike Daniels of the Green Bay Packers, who's at 33 percent.
Though Donald is a tackle/end hybrid in the Rams' scheme, we know he gets to quarterbacks differently than his peers. If we compare him to the other players with at least eight sacks entering Week 11, we see that Donald lines as up as a 3-technique -- opposite the space between the guard and tackle -- much more often than any of the other leaders. The difference is particularly significant when comparing Donald to the overall PRWR leaders, before we move down the list to other defensive tackles such as Daniels.
While this allows Donald to start physically closer to the quarterback, it also makes him more susceptible to being double-teamed.
Donald has been double-teamed (defined as any play in which multiple defenders block or attempt to block a pass-rusher for at least 0.4 seconds) 70 percent of the time -- a far higher rate than that of any other player with eight-plus sacks entering Week 11. Donald has a 34 percent PRWR when double-teamed -- the fourth-highest rate in the league for defenders who have been double-teamed at least 50 times, and the most among those double-teamed at least 100 times. His PRWR when double-teamed is higher than any other defensive tackle's overall PRWR.