INDIANAPOLIS–Aaron Donald followed his eye-popping performance at the Senior Bowl with a focused interview with media at the scouting combine on Saturday.
“I want to continue to open their eyes,” he said of scouts who will be evaluating Donald’s workout at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday.
The undersized defensive tackle was the most dominant player at the Senior Bowl in January, but he continues to battle size prejudice that projects him to be a late first-round pick. It’s a prejudice Donald has had to battle since being lightly recruited out of high school.
“It never got to me. It is what it is. Thinking about it ain’t gonna make me any taller. All I can do is go out and play hard-nosed,” Donald said in a short, to-the-point interview. He spoke of wanting to be an immediate impact player, though his favorite player, Geno Atkins, didn’t become a star for the Bengals until his second season. Donald has been compared to Atkins, largely because they are the same size.
“It’s an honor for people to even compare me to a player like that,” Donald said.
Donald played nose tackle, defensive tackle and defensive end at Pitt, but says he believes his role in the NFL will be as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3.
His workout on Monday will go a long way toward determining whether Donald can maintain his Senior Bowl momentum, or make some team happy to have gotten a player of such talent in the second round.
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