Aaron Donald is a unanimous pick for the NFL’s 2010s all-decade team
The 2010s were quite a decade for Aaron Donald.
He has made the Pro Bowl every season since the Rams drafted him 13th overall in 2014. He was named defensive rookie of the year that season and defensive player of the year in 2017 and 2018. He led the NFL in sacks with 20 1/2 in 2018 and led the league in tackles for loss with 25 in 2018 and 20 in 2019.
It makes sense that the Rams defensive tackle was one of eight unanimous selections for the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s, which was announced Monday morning.
“I don’t see myself as somebody special,” Donald told The Times’ Gary Klein last fall. “I just see myself as Aaron, the same guy I’ve been all my life.”
Punter Johnny Hekker, who has spent all eight of his NFL seasons with the Rams in St. Louis and Los Angeles, was also one of the 52 players chosen by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 48-member selection committee. Hekker set a Super Bowl record with his 65-yard punt against the New England Patriots in 2019.
“I am honored to have been selected to the 2010’s all decade team,” Hekker tweeted. “I am immediately reminded of my amazing teammates that have had a huge hand in my production as a punter. Nobody can play this game alone! Here is to the next decade!”
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and safety Eric Weddle, each of whom spent a season with the Rams in Los Angeles, also made the list. Weddle and offensive flex player/punt returner Darren Sproles spent time with the Chargers during the last decade, but before the team moved from San Diego to L.A.
The other unanimous choices were quarterback Tom Brady (who also made the 2000s All-Decade Team), running back Adrian Peterson, offensive tackle Joe Thomas, guard Marshal Yanda, defensive end J.J. Watt, linebacker Von Miller and kicker Justin Tucker.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick made the list for the second decade in a row. He is joined by current Seattle Seahawks coach and former USC coach Pete Carroll.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who set multiple passing records during the 2010s, but won his only Super Bowl following the 2009 season, was left off the list in favor of Brady and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. One-time Rams defensive back Aqib Talib, who returned 10 interceptions for touchdowns during the decade, also did not make the cut. Neither did Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith, who has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last five seasons.
NFL 2010s All-Decade Team
* Unanimous choice
Tom Brady* (Patriots)
Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
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Frank Gore (49ers, Colts, Dolphins, Bills)
Marshawn Lynch (Bills, Seahawks, Raiders)
LeSean McCoy (Eagles, Bills, Chiefs)
Adrian Peterson* (Vikings, Cardinals, Saints, Redskins)
Antonio Brown (Steelers, Patriots)
Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals)
Calvin Johnson (Lions)
Julio Jones (Falcons)
Darren Sproles (Chargers, Saints, Eagles)
Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)
Travis Kelce (Chiefs)
Jason Peters (Eagles)
Tyron Smith (Cowboys)
Joe Staley (49ers)
Joe Thomas* (Browns)
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Jahri Evans (Saints, Packers)
Logan Mankins (Patriots, Buccaneers)
Zack Martin (Cowboys)
Marshal Yanda* (Ravens)
Alex Mack (Browns, Falcons)
Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers)
Calais Campbell (Cardinals, Jaguars)
Cameron Jordan (Saints)
Julius Peppers (Bears, Packers, Panthers)
J.J. Watt* (Texans)
Geno Atkins (Bengals)
Fletcher Cox (Eagles)
Aaron Donald* (Rams)
Ndamukong Suh (Lions, Dolphins, Rams, Buccaneers)
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Chandler Jones (Patriots, Cardinals)
Luke Kuechly (Panthers)
Khalil Mack (Raiders, Bears)
Von Miller* (Broncos)
Bobby Wagner (Seahawks)
Patrick Willis (49ers)
Patrick Peterson (Cardinals)
Darrelle Revis (Jets, Buccaneers, Patriots, Chiefs)
Richard Sherman (Seahawks, 49ers)
Eric Berry (Chiefs)
Earl Thomas (Seahawks, Ravens)
Eric Weddle (Chargers, Ravens, Rams)
Chris Harris Jr. (Broncos)
Tyrann Mathieu (Cardinals, Texans, Chiefs)
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Johnny Hekker (Rams)
Shane Lechler (Raiders, Texans)
Stephen Gostkowski (Patriots)
Justin Tucker* (Ravens)
Punt return specialist
Tyreek Hill (Chiefs)
Darren Sproles (Chargers, Saints, Eagles)
Kick return specialist
Devin Hester (Bears, Falcons, Ravens, Seahawks)
Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings, Raiders, Patriots, Bears)
Bill Belichick (Patriots)
Pete Carroll (Seahawks)
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