Rams’ Aaron Donald named as ‘GOAT’ DT over ‘Mean’ Joe Greene

Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive tackle and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald remarked back in January that the only thing missing from his Hall-of-Fame résumé was “being a world champion,” something he and his teammates remedied when they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals to win Super Bowl LVI. The subsequent spring, a confident Donald said that he’s only gotten “better with age.” 

At least one outlet has him atop the figurative mountain for his position. 

For an ESPN piece published early Wednesday morning, “50 experts, reporters and analysts” were asked to name the greatest players of all time at different positions, including defensive tackle. Donald earned 39 of 50 votes, and Jeff Legwold of the Worldwide Leader explained why that was the case. 

“Donald gets even the most remember-when people in the league to acknowledge his place in NFL history,” Legwold noted. “He has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards and been a first-team All-Pro selection in seven of his eight seasons. And even though he is constantly swarmed with blockers, Donald unravels offensive game plans. His first Super Bowl win earlier this year only adds to an already Canton-worthy résumé.” 

Of course, not everybody agrees with Legwold’s take. Colts reporter Stephen Holder and fantasy football writer Eric Moody were among those who gave their votes to Pittsburgh Steelers legend “Mean” Joe Greene. 

“Greene can be credited with revolutionizing defensive line play with his use of a tilted alignment that allowed him to use his unmatched quickness to slice through gaps,” Holder wrote. Moody, meanwhile, pointed out that Greene “won two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, was named to five first-team All-Pro teams and played in 10 Pro Bowls, and one offensive lineman couldn’t block him — which made the Steelers’ linebackers more effective.”

In a separate post, Spencer Schultz of Steeler Nation wrote that Greene was “mistakenly listed” as second behind Donald in the ESPN piece: 

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