Since entering the league as the 13th pick in 2014 NFL Draft, Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald managed to establish himself as arguably the best football player on the defensive side of the ball. This is deservingly so, as he made First team All-Pro four times during that time and racked up 59.5 sacks and 264 tackles. But, if you ask Donald’s former teammate, retired defensive end Chris Long, he should also be considered the best football player in the world, period.
Long, who played for the Rams between 2008 and 2015, recently spoke on Huddle Up with Gus podcast and told the host Gus Frerotte that he immediately knew Donald is a special player.
“I’d like to credit myself with being the first person to know he was going to be amazing,” – said Long jokingly. “We used to joke his rookie camp that he was going to be in the Hall of Fame, but I kind of wasn’t joking.”
Long then called Donald “the best football player in the world, in my opinion,” before praising the 28-year-old for his work ethic.
“I’ve never seen anybody work so hard, who had so much talent and play so violent and play with such tenacity,” – he added. “This guy would fight you on the field at the drop of a hat, and I respect that about him, and outworks everybody. I would be the last person in the film room usually at the end of camp, and I would go in there and watch tape once everybody was at home. I started going in there and opening the door and turning the lights on to find my pen or notebook, and he was in there every night.”
Chris Long and Aaron Donald shared the locker room in 2014 and 2015, before Long left to play with New England Patriots in 2016. After winning Super Bowl ring with the Pats, Long signed with Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 and won another ring there. He retired following the end of 2018 NFL season.