Weight: 285 pounds
First off, let’s point out the top defensive tackle in this class: Ra’Shede Hageman of Minnesota.
No ifs, ands or buts, he is the dreadnought of this position group and likely the first to be off the board. Hageman (6’6”, 310 pounds) notched 32 reps on the bench and stood out in the vertical, coming in seventh among a group that included much lighter prospects in several 4-3 ends:
No one has deviated from the idea of Hageman being a top-25 pick or a fringe first-rounder at the least.
But given the day by the No. 1 DT prospect, it was all the more reason to pile on the praise for Pitt’s Aaron Donald, who has been the 1b to Hageman’s 1a in the draft process. Hageman has been strongly considered as an option for the 49ers if he is still on the board at 30th overall.
So in a roundabout way, that puts Donald in play.
He fell one rep short of leading his group on the bench, coming through with 35. This was no surprise to anyone who watched him trample NCAA lines. He harnesses that amazing upper-body strength and pipes it through a strong first punch. Offensive linemen feel it.
While Donald is a power defensive lineman from top to bottom, he’s also more agile than you think.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about his day was his 4.68 40-yard dash. That was the fifth-best for any defensive lineman, and everyone ahead of him was a lighter 4-3 end. Speed aside, Donald also had to have a quick get-off and ability to get up to top speed in order to achieve that.
Judging his explosiveness here, that translates to a heck of a burst off the line.
He has all the physical metrics to be a penetrating defensive lineman at the next level.
But he just happens to be in the size range that San Francisco likes its ends, which could make him an intriguing prospect in a 3-4 defense. He can be an edge-setting, pass-rushing defensive lineman—one with the versatility and potent skill set to play in both the base and sub packages.